Racial Bias in Pulse Oximetry Measurement

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Ian L., Dr -

What is wrong with a Venous Blood Gas .?

Anand S., M.D. -

Both ABG and VBG will give you PaO2 and saturation measurements but, we are looking for arterial oxygenation/sat; not venous. Arterial oxygenation is what we want to measure.

Robert D. -

This NEJM article regarding pulse oximetry was discussed in detail by Josh Farkas at PulmCrit on 12/21/2020: https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/racism-oximetry/. Turns out the difference between ABG and SpO2 is quite dependent on the specific equipment used, with Nonin having an insignificant amount difference between individuals of widely varying skin color.

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EM:RAP 2021 February 22 Breaking News: Racial Bias in Pulse Oximetry Measurement Full episode audio for MD edition 10:18 min - 11 MB - M4A