Effect of pregnancy on maternal oxygen saturation values: use of reflectance pulse oximetry during pregnancy Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Van Hook, J W; Harvey, C J; Anderson, G D


  • Our objective was to evaluate the usefulness of pulse oximetry monitoring in a large population of pregnant patients. We designed our study to measure pulse oximetry saturation in a cross section of 952 obstetric inpatients and outpatients. A group of 366 patients identified as normal were compared with abnormal subgroups. A subgroup of 64 patients with saturation measurements less than 96% were further evaluated. Our results indicated that oxygen saturation values did not change appreciably during the course of pregnancy in normal patients. Hypoxemia (saturation measurement less than 96%) was associated with smoking, and hypoxemia with preterm labor occurred more frequently in patients who smoked. Obesity and magnesium sulfate use appeared to be synergistic in the presence of hypoxemia. We concluded that the routine use of pulse oximetry during pregnancy may not be justified. Smoking, obesity, and magnesium sulfate use have some effect on oximetry in pregnant patients.

publication date

  • 1996

published in

start page

  • 1188

end page

  • 92


  • 89