Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Authors widely use pulse oximetry in clinical monitoring of heart rate (HR) and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) by attachment to the fingers; however, there can be a need for an alternative attachment site, especially for burned patients. We investigate the availability of a pulse oximeter probe attached to the penile shaft as an alternative site in pediatric male patients if all extremities became unavailable for pulse oximetry measurement due to severe burn and/or trauma. Materials and methods: We designed a prospective comparative study in a training and research hospital. After local ethical committee approval, pediatric male cases eligible for penile and extremity pulse measurements were evaluated during general anesthesia for medical dressing and/or grafting due to severe burns. One probe was attached to the fingers of the unburned extremity, and the other was to the penile shaft. Furthermore, we recorded SpO2 and HR values at 5-min intervals; 0th (baseline), 5th, 10th and 15th minutes. We compared HR and SpO2 values measured by the finger probe with those measured by the penile probe. Results: Data of 51 patients (median age, 2.9 years (interquartile range, 2.0-5.0 years)) in whom the duration of dressing was at least 15 min were analyzed. There was no significant difference either in comparisons of hemodynamic measurements (HR and SpO2) obtained by finger probe and by a penile probe for each measurement time. The Bland-Altman plot analysis reveals agreement for penile and finger probes with a mean bias value between 0.20 and 0.37 on HR and between 0.43 and -0.20 on SpO2. Conclusion: This clinical trial demonstrated that pulse oximetry measurement under nonhypoxic conditions we could perform confidently using penile probes in pediatric male patients whose extremities are unavailable for measurement.


Penile, probe, children, burns, pulse oximetry

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