Transcutaneous Oxygen Monitoring
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Prevention of hypoxia is the most important goal of patient monitoring. Unfortunately, the currently monitored variables of heart rate, blood pressure, breath sounds, and skin color are not sensitive to the level of oxygenation but only detect the physiologic consequences of inadequate oxygenation. Intermittent arterial blood gas sampling establishes the level of arterial oxygen tension (PaO2), but does not provide continuous information and, more importantly, does not assess oxygen delivery to the tissues. The transcutaneous PO2 (PtcO2) monitor continuously and noninvasively measures PO2 at the heated skin surface. Because PtcO2 is the oxygen tension of a peripheral tissue it follows the trends of oxygen delivery to the peripheral tissue. The gradient between the central PaO2 and the peripheral PtcO2 can be used to assess cardiovascular function. This chapter will review the development of PtcO2 as a monitoring technique and relate it to other oxygen transport variables.
KeywordsCardiac Output Cardiac Index Arterial Oxygen Tension Transcutaneous Oxygen Inadequate Oxygenation
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