Transcutaneous noninvasive pulse CO-oximeters have been approved for clinical practice since 2005. Standard pulse oximeters measure the absorption of 2 wavelengths of light to distinguish oxyhemoglobin from deoxyhemoglobin and cannot distinguish between oxyhemoglobin and COHb. Pulse CO-oximetry uses at least 7 wavelengths of light to acquire blood constituent data based on light absorption. Some first responders and EDs have started to use pulse CO-oximetry as a screening tool for CO poisoning. Pulse CO-oximetry may expedite the time to diagnosis and treatment in the ED.131
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