Pulse oximetry for people with darker skin

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There have been some reports on the accuracy of pulse oximeters for people with darker skin. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidance published on 26 March notes that it is possible that patients with lighter skin may have small differences in the result reported when compared to those with darker skin (along with other well-known factors), however, they are not aware of any incidents where skin colour has had an adverse effect on the use of pulse oximeters when providing effective clinical care.  

Existing guidance on COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual wards takes this potential factor into account by recommending recording of baseline readings and monitoring trends, as well as using clinical judgement to remain vigilant for other signs of deterioration. Therefore, it remains important that everyone who could benefit has access and support to use pulse oximetry effectively at home to identify silent hypoxia. Please contact england.home@nhs.net with any queries about remote monitoring using pulse oximetry.

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way health & social care services are delivered at a time where self-care has also revealed itself as the critical answer to tackling the pandemic. Self-care praxis remains largely understudied, and in particular how the attitudes of health & social care staff may have changed with respect to embedding good health-seeking self-care behaviours in the clients they serve in the new setting.Imperial College London Self-Care Academic Unit (SCARU) is conducting a qualitative research study to explore this further. Please take a moment to review the Participant Information Sheet of this study which also has ethical approvals in place.

Covid-19 oximetry at home: Resources for practices

A pathway and resources have been created to support GP practices to manage patients on the Covid-19 oximetry at home pathway. Follow this link to access the information.

Expiry date: Dec 31st, 2099