Video

Study Examines Differences in Pulse Oximetry in Hospitalized Black, White Patients

Julia Balmaceda, a medical student at the University of Kansas, discusses the findings of a research project looking at whether racial bias in pulse oximetry was present in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

Julia Balmaceda, a medical student at the University of Kansas, discusses the findings of a research project looking at whether racial bias in pulse oximetry was present in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. The abstract was published at CHEST 2022.

Transcript

Can you describe the findings of your study that looked at whether racial bias in pulse oximetry was present in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure in the intensive care unit?

We looked at 112 White patients and 32 Black patients that were admitted to the ICU with the diagnosis of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. And what we saw as looking at the 2 groups as a whole, there was no difference when we look at the gold standard of arterial blood gas, oxygen saturation. But when we look at the mean pulse oximetryo xygen saturation, there was a significant difference, and the oxygen saturation was inflated for Black patients. And then when we do a regression analysis, predicting pulse oximetry readings, race did come up as a significant association with pulse oximetry oxygen saturation, We also looked at how we were actually managing these patients. And the parameters that we used were FiO2 and max flow rate of oxygen delivered to these patients. And again, when we look at the 2 groups as a whole, using student t-tests, we don't see a difference in FiO2 we did see a difference in max flow rate delivered to these patients. And then doing a regression analysis for the parameters of FiO2 and max flow rate, their race was not a significant predictor in that analysis, although pulse oximetry was.

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