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By John G Webster

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In cases of carbon-monoxide poisoning, this could have terrible consequences if the clinician is unaware. 1 A comparison of pulse oximetry and transcutaneous PO2 electrodes from New (1985), Barker and Tremper (1984). and Severinghaus (1987). Pulse oximeters Require no heating Have no delay Never require user calibration Probes are clipped or taped on Measure a pure respiratory variable (S,02) and a pure circulatory variable (plethysmograph) Give an accurate reading or none at all Require pulsating arteries; fails during cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary bypass, or distal placement to blood pressure cuff.

Nevertheless, this model helps to develop an understanding of the absorbance of light as it passes through living tissue and why and how pulse oximetry works. The normalization of the measured signals and the calibration curves used in pulse oximeters are explained after an introduction of the theoretical model. The final part of the chapter describes mathematical approaches to incorporate light scattering in the model and describe its effects qualitatively and quantitatively. 1 BEER’S LAW Beer’s law (also referred to as Beer-Lambert’s or Bouguer’s law) describes the attenuation of light traveling through a uniform medium containing an absorbing substance.

3 The Clark electrode The Clark electrode uses the basic chemistry principles of oxidation and reduction to measure the PO2 (partial pressure of oxygen) in a solution. 7 V polarizing voltage, the following reaction occurs 02 + 2H20 + 4e- + 40K. 3) A silver anode immersed in a potassium chloride electrolyte bath will attract anions (Cl-) to form silver chloride. This oxidation reaction produces a constant flow of electrons. 3). 2 shows that the number of electrons used in the platinum cathode reaction is directly proportional to the PO2 present in the bath.

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