Pulse Oximetry as an Indicator for Aspiration: The State of the Art Researchers in the field of dysphagia have been searching for the Holy Grail of an indicator of aspiration that is accurate, noninvasive, and easy to administer. Exley (2000), in an editorial evaluating the efficacy of pulse oximetry stated: Considering its potential as a noninvasive and easily usable technique, Exley ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2004
Pulse Oximetry as an Indicator for Aspiration: The State of the Art
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Colodny
    St. John's University, Jamaica, NY
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2004
Pulse Oximetry as an Indicator for Aspiration: The State of the Art
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2004, Vol. 13, 9-13. doi:10.1044/sasd13.4.9
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2004, Vol. 13, 9-13. doi:10.1044/sasd13.4.9
Researchers in the field of dysphagia have been searching for the Holy Grail of an indicator of aspiration that is accurate, noninvasive, and easy to administer. Exley (2000), in an editorial evaluating the efficacy of pulse oximetry stated:
Considering its potential as a noninvasive and easily usable technique, Exley asked whether pulse oximetry was the answer to the problems in screening for aspiration. Exley was hopeful that the answer was “yes.” However, researchers have not been particularly successful in establishing pulse oximetry as a valid and reliable indicator of aspiration. Hirst, Ford, Gibson, and Wilson (2002)  noted that the research literature on pulse oximetry as a marker of aspiration has presented conflicting results. In this article, the research on pulse oximetry will be summarized and evaluated and conclusions will be drawn about the value of pulse oximetry in determining aspiration among patients with dysphagia.
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