Suara.com – Oximeter is one of the devices that must be owned by Covid-19 patients who are undergoing self-isolation.
However, the official NHS guidelines on the use of oximeters were changed for the use of blood oxygen monitors. The decision was taken after it was found that they may not be as accurate when used on black people and ethnic minorities.
Oximeters can overestimate oxygen levels in people with deeper skin tones, according to NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The NHS website has been updated with clarification for oximeter users who have dark skin.
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It reads: “There are reports that the (oximeter) may be less accurate if you have brown or black skin. They may show a higher reading of the oxygen level in the blood.
“You should still use your pulse oximeter if you have been given one. The important thing is to check your blood oxygen levels regularly to see if your readings are dropping.”
The NHS also says that changes in regular oximeter readings should be recorded over time – not just the first reading that counts.
The guidance states: “By looking at changes in readings and not just one reading, it means that even if the oximeter is not completely accurate, it is still possible to see if oxygen levels are dropping.”
It comes after large numbers of black, Asian and ethnic minorities have died from Covid-19 during the pandemic.
Dr Habib Naqvi, director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, said concerns about the reliability of the oximeter when used on people with deeper skin tones had been increasing for some time.
Source: Suara.com by www.suara.com.
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