Circulation 75,648 • Volume 20, No. 1 • Spring 2005   Issue PDF

PACU Pulse Ox Tone Touted

Heddy-Dale Matthias, MD

To the Editor

I’m in total agreement regarding the special need to hear the pulse beep tone for pulse oximetry during anesthesia. Anesthesiologists can testify to the importance of the pitch/saturation ratio (and to the fact that the “dive-bombing falling pitch” will never go unnoticed).

However, I’m always amazed that when I take a patient to the PACU, the nurses have turned off all “noise-makers” (is it to have a quiet place for the recovering patients?).

I have often asked them to turn the pulse oximetry beep tone on with my patients. I explain to them they can turn their backs on the patient and still hear the most important beep in the world.

I would like to suggest that the APSF institute a policy for the PACU which is identical to the OR.


Heddy-Dale Matthias, MD
One Roses Bluff Parkway
Madison, MS 39110