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Pulse Oximetry: A Necessary Tool
in the Covid-19 Pandemic


Gregg Stiver, BSc., RRT, CPRT



Patients with Covid-19 require close, continuous monitoring of oxygenation. With desaturation, a certain percentage of patients will require supplemental oxygen, and others can advance quickly to high flow oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation. The arterial blood gas test is the gold standard for measuring oxygenation, however it is an invasive procedure, and not a continuous monitoring option. Pulse oximetry can provide continuous measurement of blood oxygen levels. In this webinar, evidence will be presented to ensure the SPO2 data is reliable, and if questionable, we will discuss which other probe placement sites can provide more sustainable results, and when this modality may need to be discontinued.


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this educational activity, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the mechanism of pulse oximetry

  2. Discuss the key indicators to know when pulse oximetry is no longer providing reliable data

  3. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of various sensor placement such, finger, nose, ear and forehead 


Faculty Bio: 

Gregg Stiver is a Clinical Educator at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA. In this capacity, Gregg trains respiratory therapy staff, medical students, nursing, paramedics in all aspects respiratory care at one of the highest acuity medical centers in the country. He is also adjunct instructor (NIOSH Spirometry). He is a board member of the IUP School of Respiratory Care and CCAC Respiratory Care Program. He is a coauthor of recently published article in Chest on spirometry. He is the recipient of leadership award form IUP/West Penn Hospital.

Supported by an educational grant 

Philips Healthcare

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This continuing education activity is pending approval by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CAPCE).

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