Objectives: The utilization of vital signs as triage tools remains a mainstay ofemergency patients. The evolution of monitoring technologies, including the noninvasive tissue oxygen saturation devices has improved our ability to monitor the critically ill patients. The aim of the present study was to determine the tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) levels of the patients as a vital sign during emergency triage.
Methods: Approximately 30-35 patients present to our emergency department each day and the triage of these patients are performed by a nurse at admission time. A three level system (1: red, 2: yellow, 3: green) is used to determine the triage level of the patients presenting to our department. We examined 150 patients during five days. Age gender, triage levels and hospitalization status of the patients were noted. For the StO2 level measurement, an Inspectra device was placed to the right thenar muscle for 10 s and mean of the first, fifth and 10th second values were noted at the admission time.
Results: In our study 73 females (48.6%), 77 males (51.4%) totally 150 patients were included. We determined a significant difference between green and yellow (p=0.00), green and red (p=0.00), yellow and red (p=0.001) according to StO2 levels. We couldn’t find a significant difference between females and males in triage groups (p=0.13 for green, p=0.71 for yellow, p=0.86 for red). There was correlation between StO2 - triage level (p=0.00, r=0.609) and StO2-hospitalization status (p=0.00, r=0.449).
Conclusion: StO2 level measurement may be helpful in determining the triage level of the patients presenting to the ED.
Keywords: emergency, tissue oxygen saturation, triage