, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 175-177

Absorption characteristics of human fetal hemoglobin at wavelengths used in pulse oximetry

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The absorption characteristics of fetal and adult human hemoglobin samples were determined for the range of 600 to 1,050 nm. Over this range, fetal hemoglobin absorption is nearly identical to that of adult hemoglobin. Since currently available two-wavelength pulse oximeters base their calculations of arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation on absorption at the wavelengths of 660 and 920 nm, we conclude that the accuracy of two-wavelength pulse oximetry previously demonstrated in adults can be extrapolated to infants with high concentrations of fetal hemoglobin.