Shock: A predictive tool for EMS?

The InSpectra is a portable, lightweight, battery operated device that measures oxygen saturation

At the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, earlier this month, Minn.-based Hutchinson Technology was on hand to demonstrate their InSpectra StO2 tissue oxygenation monitor. 

Typically, the trade show floor at a critical care conference is full of ICU technology, most of it large, bulky and unsuited to the rough prehospital environment. 

The InSpectra, however, is a portable, lightweight, battery operated device that measures oxygen saturation at the thenar area on the palm.

Measurement of tissue microcirculation saturation (StO2) is a great predictor of hypoperfusion (or shock, as redefined in the new EMS Educational Standards) and it has been studied in both EMS and Air Medical applications. 

Since you can no longer buy an FDA approved point-of-care lactic acid meter, maybe the InSpectra will be your next prehospital tool?

Photo Mike McEvoy
The InSpectra was on display at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Congress



About the author

Mike McEvoy, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN is the EMS Coordinator for Saratoga County, New York and a paramedic supervisor with Clifton Park & Halfmoon Ambulance. He is a nurse clinician in cardiothoracic surgical intensive care at Albany Medical Center where he also Chairs the Resuscitation Committee and teaches critical care medicine. He is a lead author of the “Critical Care Transport” textbook and Informed® Emergency & Critical Care guides published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. Mike is a frequent contributor to and a popular speaker at EMS, Fire, and medical conferences worldwide.Contact Mike at

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