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Oxygen: Blood Tests

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 156390, tabled on 22 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2021 to Question 141981 on Oxygen: Blood Tests, what (a) training has been provided and (b) guidance has been issued to NHS staff to help them notice pulse oximeter reading issues relating to people with darker skin colours.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

22 March 2021

Pulse oximetry is a well-established healthcare diagnostic technology widely used to manage patient care by providing a nonā€invasive approximation of blood oxygen saturation. In view of the many factors that can affect the accuracy of pulse oximeter readings, including the potential impact of skin colour, clinicians are trained to place particular emphasis on relative changes to previous readings for any one individual.

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