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Letters Remote management of covid-19

Pulse oximetry gives artificially high readings in presence of carboxyhaemoglobin

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1103 (Published 06 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1103
  1. John Moyle, retired chartered engineer and consultant anaesthetist
  1. Shipston on Stour CV36 4NR, UK
  1. drjmoyle{at}gmail.com

Greenhalgh and colleagues omit a serious limitation of two wavelength pulse oximetry.1 They mention “falsely low readings with certain haemoglobinopathies,” but a much more important danger is that standard two wavelength pulse oximeters give artificially high readings in the presence of circulating carboxyhaemoglobin to …

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