The daily educational pearl – a bit of history

Any idea when pulse oximetry became available?

Pulse oximetry was developed in the 1970s. The first pulse oximeter became commercially available in 1981. Pulse oximetry became standard of care for general anaesthesia in 1987 in the USA.

How was oxygenation status assessed till them?

By looking for ventricular ectopy and clinical cyanosis. Or by doing an arterial blood gas.




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