Point-of-care pulse oximetry for children in low-resource settings

Carina King, Hamish Graham, Eric D. McCollum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Pulse oximeters are essential medical devices that have important applications at every level of global health systems. By the early 1990s pulse oximetry had become an established standard of care - first in anesthesia and then throughout critical care, including emergency medicine, neonatal and other care areas. The future must include better oximeters for spot-checking the peripheral oxygen saturation of children in hospital wards and in facility-based outpatient and community environments in low-resource settings. The benefits of oximeters are not only in detecting hypoxemia and directing oxygen care. Given the importance of hypoxemia as a sign of severe illness, healthcare workers need a more reliable test to non-invasively measure blood oxygen levels at the bedside. Currently many pulse oximeters have sophisticated motion tolerance software to improve their functioning in mobile children, but these devices are currently prohibitively expensive for low-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRevolutionizing Tropical Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationPoint-of-Care Tests, New Imaging Technologies and Digital Health
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781119282686
ISBN (Print)9781119282648
StatePublished - May 31 2019


  • Childhood mortality
  • Developing countries
  • Developing nations
  • Developing world
  • Diseases in the tropics
  • Hypoxemia
  • LMICs
  • Low- to middle-income countries
  • Low-resource settings
  • Malaria
  • Oxygen saturation
  • Peripheral oxygen saturation
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Sepsis
  • Spectrophotometry
  • SpO
  • Tropical diseases
  • Tropical diseases
  • Tropical medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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