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Covid: Pulse oxygen monitors work less well on darker skin, experts say

Experts have warned that a device used to detect signs of oxygen level drops may not work as well on darker skin. 

According to NHS England and MHRA, pulse oximeters may sometimes overestimate oxygen levels. Now, NHS England is updating their guidance advising patients patients from black, Asian and other ethnic minority groups to seek advice from their healthcare professional, but to continue using pulse oximeters. 

"We need to ensure there is common knowledge on potential limitations in healthcare equipment and devices, particularly for populations at heightened risk of life-changing illness, this includes black, Asian and diverse communities using pulse oximeters to monitor their oxygen levels at home," says Dr Habib Naqvi, director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory. 

Read full story.

Source: BBC, 1 August 2021


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