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Devices Used In COVID-19 Treatment Can Give Errors For Patients With Dark Skin


The common fingertip devices that measures oxygen in the blood can sometimes give misleading readings in people with dark skin, according to a report Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. These devices, called pulse oximeters, are increasingly finding their way into people's homes, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, this is not just a concern for medical personnel using professional-grade devices. Dr. Michael Sjoding and colleagues at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor came across this issue this year when they received an influx of COVID-19 patients from Detroit's overflowing hospitals. Many of these patients are Black. Sjoding noticed something odd about results from the fingertip device used throughout hospitals.

NPR - December 17, 2020

View the full story here: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/12/16/947226068/dark-skin-can-lead-to-errors-with-pulse-oximeters-used-in-covid-19-treatment