Tissue oxygen saturation measurement in prehospital trauma patients: a pilot, feasibility study

Emerg Med J. 2013 Jun;30(6):506-8. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2012-201411. Epub 2012 Jul 25.


Background: This study evaluated the feasibility of prehospital tissue oxygen saturation (StO₂) in major trauma patients.

Methods: A prospective, pilot feasibility study carried out in a physician based prehospital trauma service.

Results: Prehospital StO₂ was recorded on 13 patients. Continuous StO₂ monitoring was achieved on all patients, despite intermittent failure of pulse oximetry and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring in six patients. No adverse outcomes of StO₂ monitoring were reported. The specific equipment used was reported to be inconveniently bulky and heavy for use in the prehospital setting.

Conclusions: Prehospital measurement and monitoring of StO₂ is feasible in trauma patients undergoing prehospital anaesthesia and may be useful in the early identification of shock, triggering of transfusion protocols and guiding fluid resuscitation.

Keywords: Emergency ambulance systems; anaesthesia—RSI; helicopter retrieval; prehospital care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous / instrumentation
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous / methods
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous / standards
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oximetry* / instrumentation
  • Oximetry* / methods
  • Oximetry* / standards
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen