THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The use of noninvasive pulse carbon monoxide (CO) oximeters (SpCO) is not accurate for determining blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels, according to a study presented Oct. 18 at the European Emergency Medicine Congress, in Germany.

Mathilde Papin, from Nantes University Hospital in France, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to determine the accuracy of SpCO in determining blood COHb level. The systematic review included 19 studies; 11 and 13 were included for quantitative analysis of the primary and secondary end points, respectively.

Three different devices were used to measure SpCO. The principal source of bias and concern regarding applicability was patient selection. There was no publication bias. The researchers found that the area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curve was 86 percent, with pooled sensitivity and specificity of 0.77 and 0.83, respectively. The mean bias was 0.95 percent, and limits of agreement were −6.08 to 8.00 percent.

“At 23 percent, the false negative rate with pulse oximetry is too high for reliably triaging patients with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. This method is not accurate enough and should not be used in clinical practice,” the authors write.


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