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Pulse oximeter
Pulse oximeters work by measuring light absorption at a specific red and near-infrared wavelength, but can be confounded by the similar absorption profiles of melanin and hemoglobin. Melanin concentration is higher in darker skin colors, meaning that a pulse oximeter could over-estimate a patient's oxygen saturation in the blood - potentially leading to adverse outcomes. A new independent review by a UK panel of experts is urging action by users and manufacturers of pulse oximeter devices and other optical equipment used in healthcare, to ensure equity across different skin types. Photo: FDA.
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