Pulse Ox- Nail polish effects

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Pulse Ox- Nail polish effects

Postby labman2 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:18 pm

One of my techs bought a study guide from some place to get ready for the RPSGT test- I browsed through some multiple choice questions for fun and to see what they were including as important...

One question was
What effect does nail polish have on a pulse-ox reading
Answers

a- no effect
b-false high readings
c-false low readings
d-non usable readings

They claim the answer is False High readings but I disagree and say false low readings... or perhaps even unusable readings but not False high readings ! :? What say you all?

Confirm my thinking or please re-educate me...

Thanks

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Postby SLOW_WAVE775 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:44 pm

I agree...Had a patient a few months back, who had just painted her nails with a metallic copper nail polish. Put the probe on, and noted RA sats to be borderline 90%. Attempted putting probe on another finger before ruining her new paint job with identical result. Finally just swabbed the finger with acetone and bingo....95%RA sats..literally, seconds after the acetone evaporated.
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Postby linuxgeek » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:26 pm

Correct answer should be "non usable readings".

Nail polish will bring the SpO2 signal closer to about 85%.

So if they had an SpO2 of 95%, it would be lower their readings. If they were hovering around 65% normally, it would actually increase their SpO2 readings.
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Postby lil_miss_sleeptech » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:51 pm

I've noticed it seems to matter what color the polish is and whether or not the patient has fake nails. Darker polish=crappier readings
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Postby Polysom.com » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:47 pm

To understand this you need to look at how a pulse ox works. The real correct answer is innacurate readings.

The red light being emitted can be completely washed out by someone wearing red fignernail polish and the effect will change based upon how far away you are in the light spectrum from red in color. The light that we see is what is reflected. Red fingernail polish reflects the red light away not allowing it to penetrate the finger and be absorbed by the sensor which would give a low reading on the patient. Technically with the correct shade of red paint, and no other light in the room, you could have a patient that gets no reading on the pulse oximeter.
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Postby somnus diabolus » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:14 pm

Somno posted a great article on how a pulse oximeter works awhile back. If I remember correctly, it emits both a red light, and an infrared light (different wavelengths), and depending on how much O2 is bonded to the hemoglobin, you get a certain amount of pass-through to the other side, and that's what gives you your value. I'm guessing here (And I'm sure that someone will call me out if I'm wrong :lol: ), that the nail polish most affects the red light.
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Postby somnonaut » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:00 pm

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Postby linuxgeek » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:32 am

I'll revise my answer a little.

Although I think the usual scenario will produce a drift towards 85%, anything is really possible. Technically oximeters work on the principle of removing any constant light absorption (DC component). Nail polish sorta fit in that realm, but the oximeter still has to find a pulse for the peak and trough that are the basis of the calculation. I don't think there's entirely a predictable outcome.
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Re:

Postby Janice88 » Tue May 24, 2016 10:54 am

SLOW_WAVE775 wrote:I agree...Had a patient a few months back, who had just painted her nails with a metallic copper nail polish. Put the probe on, and noted RA sats to be borderline 90%. Attempted putting probe on another finger before ruining her new discount makeup uk paint job with identical result. Finally just swabbed the finger with acetone and bingo....95%RA sats..literally, seconds after the acetone evaporated.


I like painting my nails, but I'm a nail biter person.
Its just a really bad habit and I'm afraid is probably never going away.
I don't buy nail polish a lot but I like to look at them while I'm in the store.
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Re: Pulse Ox- Nail polish effects

Postby somnonaut » Wed May 25, 2016 1:06 pm

Here is a description of how an oximeter works (old link no longer works).
http://www.howequipmentworks.com/pulse_oximeter/

Except they have their wavelengths backwards. Blue is SHORTER than Red.
http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS ... olors.html
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