Global Statistics

All countries
548,935,393
Confirmed
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
520,723,315
Recovered
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
6,350,765
Deaths
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Global Statistics

All countries
548,935,393
Confirmed
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
520,723,315
Recovered
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
6,350,765
Deaths
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
Molderizer and Safe Shield

Pulse Oximetry Readings Are Less Accurate for Black, Hispanic, and Asian People With COVID-19

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Pulse oximeter devices, a common tool used to guide medical decision-making in COVID-19 patients, overestimated the blood oxygen levels in nonwhite patients with COVID-19 and made them appear healthier than they actually were, according to a new study published May 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

These findings add to the growing body of evidence about pulse oximetry inaccuracies in people of color, says the study’s co-lead author Ashraf Fawzy, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “Our research is the first to show that the overestimation of oxygen saturation among Black and Hispanic patients led to a delayed recognition of the need for COVID-19 therapy compared with white patients,” says Dr. Fawzy.

That’s because oxygen saturation levels are often used to determine whether or not certain more aggressive COVID-19 medications are used, as some treatments are only recommended for people whose oxygen saturation levels have dropped below a certain threshold. The consequences of these inaccuracies — failure to receive appropriate treatment or delays in treatment — should be examined as potential explanations for disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, according to the authors.

Black and Hispanic people are 70 percent and 80 percent more likely to die of COVID-19 than white people, respectively, according to an April 2022 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).



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