Previous research on pulse oximetry has found that skin pigmentation has no clinically significant effect 1,2. Recently however it has been found that pulse oximeters from three manufacturers overestimated oxygen saturation in individuals with darkly pigmented skin at saturations below 80% 3. The authors suggested that pulse oximeters should carry a warning about this. Above 80% the researchers concluded that the effect was probably of no clinical significance.
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page last modified: 04/09/2005