Equality considerations

Equality considerations

NICE is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, eliminating unlawful discrimination and fostering good relations between people with particular protected characteristics and others.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic condition, which may mean someone is disabled if this has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to do daily activities. Disability is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has highlighted differences in precision of SpO2 monitors across different skin colours which may result in risk of inaccuracy for individuals with darker skin pigmentations. It reports that further evaluation on this association is needed (FDA safety communication, 2021).

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) highlights a number of factors that can affect the accuracy of pulse oximeters, including skin pigmentation (MHRA use and regulation of pulse oximeters, 2021). It reports that darker skin pigmentation may cause an overestimation of SpO2 saturations, so the relative changes in an individual person's reading should be considered as well as the numerical value.

Race is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.