A noninvasive optical oximeter for measuring oxygen saturation of arterial blood. A sample of blood is illuminated with light at four different wavelengths. Light reflected by the blood is sensed by a photodetector and a plurality of output signals are created in response thereto. The reflected light at each of the four wavelengths is detected after contact with the blood and is correlated with the oxygen saturation of the patient's blood using mathematical relationships for arterial and venous oxygen saturation. The present invention provides a noninvasive backscatter oximeter which is capable of providing accurate indications of a patient's blood oxygen saturation without the need for obtaining prior information relating to the oxygen content of the patient's blood.
Reuben W. Edgar, Jr.;