Thinking Out-of-the-Box: A Non-Standard Application of Standard Pulse-Oximetry and Standard Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in a COVID-19 Patient
Patrick Schober , Erik J Lust , Leo M A Heunks , Lothar A Schwarte
This case study explored the feasibility of lingual pulse oximetry and lingual near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in a COVID-19 patient to assess lingual tissue viability after several days of mechanical ventilation in the prone position. In this case study the patient’s tongue was swollen out of proportion,such that it protruded from the mouth. The swelling and hardening of the tongue may impair lingual perfusion and oxygenation resulting in thrombosis. The authors measured regional hemoglobin-O2-saturation (rSO2) directly, i.e. by means of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) using a clinical disposable NIRS probe (SenSmart, Equanox Advance, 8204CA, Nonin, MN, USA). This probe-type has a 4cm distance between the light-source and the light-detector, to enable deeper tissue rSO2 measurements, compared to smaller pediatric probes.