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Mr Javid referenced research that has shown that oximeters - which monitor oxygen levels and are used to see whether treatment is needed for COVID-19 - are less accurate on people with darker skin.
The health secretary told Trevor Philips On Sunday on Sky News that health disparities had been highlighted by COVID-19.
Discussing evidence that "in many cases" oximeters have been "giving false readings" because of darker skin tones, Mr Javid said: "There are research papers already on this and no one did anything about it.
"Now, I'm not saying this was deliberate by anyone, I think it's just it's a systemic issue potentially, with medical devices and it may go even further than that with medical textbooks, for example."
originally posted by: NightFlight
I just got out of the hospital first of the month, while I was in there I discovered I have only one finger the oximeter will work on correctly and that is my left ring finger. All the rest are scarred from 71 years of working with my hands (curiosity before I was 6) and the machines gave much lower reading of my oxygen levels. The nurse told me that 93% was what they were looking for and the machine wouldn't read over 80% on my right hand fingers, some as low as 67%.
One nurse said "obviously you're not dead, we'll try another finger..."
originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: gortex
What disgusts me is that everything has to be about racism. We can't just say that there is a rational explanation for why these things don't work on skin with higher melanin content ... oh no, it's because of racism.