Racial bias in key COVID oxygen device leads to treatment delays for people of colour, study finds

Oxygen monitors thought to be important for prescribing treatment for COVID-19 patients have failed to work properly for people of color, delaying urgent care, a new study finds. Is.

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Such faulty readings of oxygen levels may contribute to poor health outcomes for black and Hispanic patients, especially those with COVID-19, according to Study published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine,

Pulse oximeters, which clip to a finger, are widely used to measure oxygen levels in the blood by shining a light through the fingers, but have been found to give inaccurate readings in people of color. Melanin, which is found in darker skin, can absorb more light and pulse oximeters are not designed for this, last. research has shown.


Because COVID-19 severity is classified around oxygen readings, “we saw this bias translated into more than a quarter of patients, the majority of whom self-identified as Black or Hispanic, Those who do not recognize at the time how ill…