Effects of fetal hemoglobin on accurate measurements of oxygen saturation in neonates

Shyang Yun Pamela K. Shiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the accuracy of oxygen saturation (SO2) in relation to blood oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) measurements with the effects of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) determined and their oxyhemoglobin dissociation curves. Method: Twenty neonates with gestational ages ranging from 25 to 34 weeks, who had umbilical arterial or venous lines inserted, were investigated. Analyses were performed with 169 arterial and 41 venous blood samples from these infants by employing HbF- and HbA-mode (as controls) blood analyses, using a hemoximeter. Results: Without adjusting the effects of HbF when using HbA-mode analyses, mean SO2 measurements were elevated for 5% (±1.38) compared with the results of HbF-mode analyses, with 3.5% elevated HbCO levels for the total blood samples. With left-shifted oxyhemoglobin dissociation curves in neonates, for the critical values of oxygen tension values between 50 and 75 mm Hg, arterial HbO2 ranged from 94% to 96%, SaO2 from 97% to 98%, and SpO2 from 96% to 97% (compared to 85%-94% in healthy adults). Conclusions: The left-shifted oxyhemoglobin curves warrant the importance of accurate measurements of oxygenation status for neonates. Fetel hemoglobin determination is essential for accurate SO2 measurements and the assessment of proper oxygenation status in neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-361
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal hemoglobin
  • Oxygen saturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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