Study: Pulse oximeters less accurate for Black children

Pulse oximeters overestimated arterial oxygen saturation in Black children, researchers reported this week in JAMA Pediatrics. Inaccurate readings can contribute to care delays and worse care outcomes. The study, which confirms previous findings, notes pulse oximeters likely give less accurate readings for Black people due to the light absorption properties of melanin in darker-skinned people. The retrospective study included pediatric patients with self-reported Black or white race who underwent a cardiac catheterization between 2016 and 2021 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (JAMA Pediatrics research article, 3/20/23)