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Low Perfusion and Missed Diagnosis of Hypoxemia by Pulse Oximetry in Darkly Pigmented Skin: A Prospective Study

Gudelunas, M Koa; Lipnick, Michael; Hendrickson, Carolyn; Vanderburg, Sky; Okunlola, Bunmi; Auchus, Isabella; Feiner, John R; Bickler, Philip E
BACKGROUND:Retrospective clinical trials of pulse oximeter accuracy report more frequent missed diagnoses of hypoxemia in hospitalized Black patients than White patients, differences that may contribute to racial disparities in health and health care. Retrospective studies have limitations including mistiming of blood samples and oximeter readings, inconsistent use of functional versus fractional saturation, and self-reported race used as a surrogate for skin color. Our objective was to prospectively measure the contributions of skin pigmentation, perfusion index (PI), sex, and age on pulse oximeter errors in a laboratory setting. METHODS:We enrolled 146 healthy subjects, including 25 with light skin (Fitzpatrick class I and II), 78 with medium (class III and IV), and 43 with dark (class V and VI) skin. We studied 2 pulse oximeters (Nellcor N-595 and Masimo Radical 7) in prevalent clinical use. We analyzed 9763 matched pulse oximeter readings (pulse oximeter measured functional saturation [Spo2]) and arterial oxygen saturation (hemoximetry arterial functional oxygen saturation [Sao2]) during stable hypoxemia (Sao2 68%-100%). PI was measured as percent infrared light modulation by the pulse detected by the pulse oximeter probe, with low perfusion categorized as PI < 1%. The primary analysis was to assess the relationship between pulse oximeter bias (difference between Sao2 and Spo2) by skin pigment category in a multivariable mixed-effects model incorporating repeated-measures and different levels of Sao2 and perfusion. RESULTS:Skin pigment, PI, and degree of hypoxemia significantly contributed to errors (bias) in both pulse oximeters. For PI values of 1.0% to 1.5%, 0.5% to 1.0%, and <0.5%, the P value of the relationship to mean bias or median absolute bias was <.00001. In lightly pigmented subjects, only PI was associated with positive bias, whereas in medium and dark subjects bias increased with both low perfusion and degree of hypoxemia. Sex and age was not related to pulse oximeter bias. The combined frequency of missed diagnosis of hypoxemia (pulse oximeter readings 92%-96% when arterial oxygen saturation was <88%) in low perfusion conditions was 1.1% for light, 8.2% for medium, and 21.1% for dark skin. CONCLUSIONS:Low peripheral perfusion combined with darker skin pigmentation leads to clinically significant high-reading pulse oximeter errors and missed diagnoses of hypoxemia. Darkly pigmented skin and low perfusion states are likely the cause of racial differences in pulse oximeter performance in retrospective studies.
PMID: 38109495
ISSN: 1526-7598
CID: 5612442

Integrating IPACK (Interspace between the Popliteal Artery and Capsule of the Posterior Knee) Block in an Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Pathway for Total Knee Arthroplasty-A Prospective Triple-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

Bh, Poonam Pai; Jinadu, Samiat; Okunlola, Olubunmi; Darkzali, Haider; Lin, Hung Mo; Lai, Yan H
UNLABELLED: < 0.01. In terms of opioid consumption and a majority of functional outcomes, our study demonstrates no overall benefits of adding an IPACK block in this ERAS pathway in TKA. Nevertheless, IPACK may have the potential of mitigating posterior knee pain after TKA. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:level 1. CLINICAL TRIAL NUMBER AND REGISTRY URL/BACKGROUND:NCT03653416. www. CLINICALTRIALS/RESULTS:gov.
PMID: 35944566
ISSN: 1938-2480
CID: 5399372

Health Equity Curriculum for Anesthesiology and Surgery Residents: A Necessary Step Toward Addressing Perioperative Disparities

Asnake, Betelehem; Okunlola, Olubunmi; Wollner, Elliot; Ehie, Odinakachukwu
ISSN: 2380-4017
CID: 5399392

Pulse Oximeter Performance, Racial Inequity, and the Work Ahead

Okunlola, Olubunmi E; Lipnick, Michael S; Batchelder, Paul B; Bernstein, Michael; Feiner, John R; Bickler, Philip E
It has long been known that many pulse oximeters function less accurately in patients with darker skin. Reasons for this observation are incompletely characterized and potentially enabled by limitations in existing regulatory oversight. Based on decades of experience and unpublished data, we believe it is feasible to fully characterize, in the public domain, the factors that contribute to missing clinically important hypoxemia in patients with darkly pigmented skin. Here we propose 5 priority areas of inquiry for the research community and actionable changes to current regulations that will help improve oximeter accuracy. We propose that leading regulatory agencies should immediately modify standards for measuring accuracy and precision of oximeter performance, analyzing and reporting performance outliers, diversifying study subject pools, thoughtfully defining skin pigmentation, reporting data transparently, and accounting for performance during low-perfusion states. These changes will help reduce bias in pulse oximeter performance and improve access to safe oximeters.
PMID: 34772785
ISSN: 1943-3654
CID: 5399382

The Work Is All Around Us: Health Equity in Anesthesiology : From Local to Regional to International

Percy, Samuel; Okunlola, Bunmi; Wollner, Elliot; Medina, Edward; Lipnick, Michael S; Bulamba, Fred
ISSN: 2380-4017
CID: 5007282