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Open Access

Open Access


Hemoglobin can be measured on a variety of devices using different principles of operation. Noninvasive pulse CO-oximetry represents the latest development in hemoglobin measuring technology. The technology uses principles similar to pulse oximetry to measure total hemoglobin, oxyhemoglobin, reduced oxyhemoglobin, carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin. Similar to the introduction of pulse oximetry to the medical field, pulse CO-oximetry has been met with skepticism. Since the technology is noninvasive and provides continuous monitoring in comparison to invasive and discrete techniques used in other methods, CO-oximetry purportedly provides an advantage in patient care. The purpose of this research is threefold: (a) to review the various underlying principles of measuring hemoglobin, (b) to compare the results of clinical studies determining the efficacy of the new pulse CO-oximeter technology, and (c) to provide a technical and financial basis for implementation of pulse CO-oximetry into a hospital or institution. These combined outcomes will determine the practicality of non-invasive pulse CO-oximetry in improving patient care, given the advantage of noninvasive, continuous monitoring.