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  1. Co-ordinated by Kirsty Dickson-Jardine,
  2. Co-ordinated by Jonathan Wyatt

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    Sophia is aware that nail varnish can spell trouble with pulse oximetry, but what of artificial acrylic nails? A trial reported in Resuscitation (2007;74:75–82) compared two different pulse oximeters on intensive care patients to determine whether false nails affected the readings. Each patient had a pulse oximeter applied to a natural nail and to an acrylic nail, and the results were compared with an arterial blood gas measurement of oxygen saturations. The two oximeters tested emitted slightly different wavelengths of light and this may explain why one of them gave inaccurate readings when applied to false nails. The authors recommend that if false nails are in place, the oximeter probe be placed at 90° to the usual position so that the light does not pass through the nail (the alternative is spending 30 minutes soaking the nail off in acetone).


    A US study of more than 1000 patients reports the influence of chronic comorbidity on survival after out-of-hospital VF arrest due to heart disease. The odds of survival to …

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