Skill Unit
monitoring Oxygen
You learned in the previous skill how to measure and adjust the concentration of the oxygen
that a baby breathes. Now, you need to monitor the concentration of oxygen that reaches the
baby’s blood. Estimating blood oxygen saturation (Spo2) continuously is most easily done with
a pulse oximeter. The oximetry skill was described in Book I: Maternal and Fetal Evaluation
and Immediate Newborn Care, Unit 4, Is the Baby Sick?
You also need to measure the oxygen concentration (Pao2) directly in arterial blood samples,
which can be obtained from either a peripheral or a central artery and sent to the laboratory
for blood gas analysis. The following skill describes obtaining arterial blood from a peripheral
artery. In Unit 3, Umbilical Catheters, in this book, you will learn how to insert an umbilical
arterial catheter and use it to obtain multiple arterial blood gas samples.
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