Study shows nail treatments do not affect readings of patients' oxygen levels, despite widespread co

New research at this year's Euroanaesthesia congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, suggests that nail treatments such as acrylic nails or nail polishes do not, as previously thought, affect readings from digital pulse oximetry (DPO) devices used to monitor patients' blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels in hospital.

DPO is universally used to measure blood oxygen levels in patients, however there are concerns that the readings they produce can be affected by treatments such as nail polish or acrylic nails. The DPO device fits around the fingertip including the nail, and the side facing the nail is emitting light which is detected by a sensor on the far side of the fingertip. Since changes in SpO2 levels affect the levels and types of medical intervention, as well as impacting patient monitoring in critical care and anaesthesia, determining whether nail treatments affect DPO readings is crucial.

 

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