Jacobs Journal of Anesthesiology and Research

Novel Use of Pulse Oximetry with an Oral Airway and a Disposable Pulse Oximetry Sensor in a Critically Ill Burn Patient During Debridement and Grafting

Published on: 2018-09-24


Purpose: Pulse oximetry is a standard American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) monitor. At times, monitoring sites will not be available due to reasons such as burn, crush, amputation, poor perfusion or presence in a surgical field. In the case presented here, all known monitoring sites were eliminated resulting in the need to obtain an oral pulse oximetry measurement from the hard and soft palate. Case History: A 45-year-old male suffered critical burns from a propane tank explosion, sustaining 80% total body surface area (TBSA) full-thickness burns. During surgical debridement, the pulse oximetry sensor had to be moved so that the operation could continue. No traditional site was available; therefore, the only remaining option was to obtain oxygen hemoglobin saturation measurements from the mouth using an oral airway and a disposable pulse oximetry sensor. Comments: In situations where no other pulse oximetry sites are available, oral airway oximetry may be attempted while observing other trends in oxygenation and ventilation throughout the anesthetic.


Pulse Oximetry; Burn; Arterial Blood Gas; Hypoxia; Oral Airway; Anesthesia