Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) Fall 2022 - Las Vegas, NV

Date of Submission

September 2022



In the intensive care unit (ICU) setting, patients may require the use of a pulse ox probe on the forehead to obtain an appropriate oxygenation saturation reading. The pulse ox probe has two clear plastic sensors, through which the infrared light travels to measure oxygenation. Despite applying the sensor per manufacturer’s instructions and rotating the device location on the forehead more frequently than manufacturer recommendations, the sensor can still cause a medical device-related pressure injury.


Silicone mesh dressing is commonly used under wet to dry dressings or under negative pressure wound therapy dressings to prevent adherence of the product to the wound bed. We surmised that placing a silicone mesh dressing under the forehead probe could mitigate the risk of pressure injury formation from the sensor while maintaining adequate oxygenation readings.


Placing a piece of silicone mesh dressing under the forehead pulse ox probe, coupled with device repositioning every 2 hours, has eliminated this medical device-related pressure injury in our organization. Use of the dressing has demonstrated no adverse effect on the device achieving an accurate oxygen saturation reading.


In the critical care setting, typical locations for obtaining oxygen saturation readings such as the finger, nose, and ear are often compromised due to low perfusion states. The thin layer of tissue on the forehead makes this area highly susceptible to medical device-related pressure injuries. As such, the forehead pulse ox probe is our last option for monitoring oxygen saturation levels. When the forehead pulse ox probe is required for effective monitoring, utilizing a silicone mesh dressing under the sensor has eliminated pressure injuries without interfering with patient monitoring of oxygen saturation levels.


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