The new probe makes use of near-infrared light to measure blood oxygen saturation in the tissue surrounding the central internal jugular vein in the neck.

This allows doctors to continuously monitor a patient’s recovery from shock without having to continuously draw and analyze blood.

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China State Key Lab of Electronic Thin Film and Integrated Device associate professor Ting Li said: "When I spoke with doctors and patients in hospitals, I had a strong desire to help them with my technologies.

"The standard method to monitor shock is invasive, discontinuous, and time-consuming."

The new monitoring device was developed by the researchers using a technique called near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which uses the diffuse reflectance and absorption of near-infrared light to obtain information about the molecular composition of a sample.

The NIRS device consists of a probe with two detectors and a triple-LED that emits light at wavelengths of 735, 805 and 850nm.

Using ultrasound, the probe is guided for placement on the skin right over the patients’ veins.

The device’s accuracy was tested against the standard catheter system by the researchers in 25 patients exhibiting shock at intensive care unit of Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai, China.