What pulmonary function testing should be considered for suspected hypoxemia?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Answer

Answer

ABG determinations should be considered whenever the clinical suspicion of hypoxemia exists, even when the oximeter displays a value over the threshold of 88%. Finally, the shape of the oxygen dissociation curve causes the pulse oximeter to be inherently insensitive to mild hypoxemia because relatively large changes in PaO2 in the flat upper portion of the curve cause very small changes in blood SaO2.


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