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Uploaded on Mar 20, 2009
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carboxyhaemoglobin As the current generation of oxygen saturation machines only use two diodes they are unable to compensate for the presence of carboxyhaemoglobin. This means the saturation readouts may be inaccurate in cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even relatively small amounts of carboxyhaemoglobin in the blood can cause an oximeter to overestimate oxygen saturation. In fact carbon monoxide in the blood can give rise to erroneous readings of 100% oxygen saturations. This is a dangerous situation as it gives a false sense of security. This information must be remembered when caring for patients who have been in smoky environments. This is clearly the case with many burns victims. Smokers and people who work in traffic fumes may also give falsely high SpO2 readings.