A system for measuring blood oxygen saturation uses a noninvasive optical technique. A patient's arterial blood is illuminated with light at two different wavelengths and the intensity of the reflected light is correlated with an oxygen saturation reference curve to determine the oxygen saturation of the patient's blood. The optical sensor includes one or more controlled heat sources which are used to maintain the patient's tissue at a predetermined temperature. Safety circuits are also provided in order to prevent thermal burns to a patient in the event of a system failure.
Ronald L. Branstetter; Jonathan P. Jaeb; Jeffrey M. Gabelmann