It’s a great day for blood monitoring. In another story from MIT Technology News, a Yalie finds a new use for pulse oximetry data:
Kirk Shelley, an anesthesiologist at Yale University, has devised a way to noninvasively measure blood loss using a pulse oximeter, a finger-clip device commonly used to measure pulse rate and blood oxygen levels in hospital patients. The pulse oximeter measures how much light of different wavelengths the blood absorbs.
After gathering pulse oximeter data from operating rooms for more than seven years, Shelley developed an algorithm that translates subtle absorption changes into accurate estimates of blood volume.
Shelley says the algorithm can detect when blood loss exceeds one pint, information that can be used to guide transfusions.
Determining blood loss can be even trickier in the minutes after traumatic hemorrhage. Perhaps Shelley’s algorithms can work in the Trauma room, though they seem to require a baseline waveform measurement…