Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at UC Davis
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Heather Siefkes, MD, MS (ucdavis)



The goal of this clinical trial is to determine if pulse oximeters show an SaO2-SpO2 discrepancy that correlates with skin pigmentation such that pulse oximetry will overestimate oxygenation in newborns with darker skin. The main questions it aims to answer is if SaO2-SpO2 discrepancy varies with the degree of skin pigmentation among neonates, if gestational age has an influence on SaO2-SpO2 discrepancy, and if packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion has an influence on SaO2-SpO2 discrepancy in newborns with various degrees of light and dark skin. Researchers will compare SaO2 and SpO2 values in neonates of various skin pigmentation.


Investigators will use a multicenter prospective cohort approach to measure SpO2 and SaO2 simultaneously in newborns of varying degrees of light and dark skin. The investigators will enroll 163 newborns of varying degrees of light and dark skin to assess the impact of skin pigmentation on the accuracy of pulse oximetry. Data collection will occur during routine blood samples and will involve simultaneous measurement of oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry and additional data extraction from the EHR. The study consists of 4 main components: (1) Skin pigment classification (2) Race and ethnicity classification (3) SpO2 measurement collection (4) EMR data collection (including newborn screen hemoglobin type assessment and transfusion records). After adjusting for SaO2, the SaO2-SpO2 discrepancy will correlate with skin pigmentation such that pulse oximetry will overestimate oxygenation in newborns with darker skin. The distribution of SaO2-SpO2 discrepancy will have more variance in the newborns with darker skin.


Skin Pigment, Pulse Oximetry, Pigmentation Disorders, Enrolled Participant


You can join if…

  • Newborns postnatal age < 10 days admitted to intensive care unit
  • Presence of arterial catheter or undergoing arterial stick blood gas sampling

You CAN'T join if...

  • Presence of abnormal hemoglobin (including methemoglobin > 3%) - likely to only be known after enrolled and the blood gas is obtained
  • Those in whom SpO2 cannot be measured in the same extremity as the arterial catheter.


  • UC Davis Health accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center accepting new patients
    Jackson Mississippi 39216 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Heather Siefkes, MD, MS (ucdavis)
    Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, School of Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 19 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Davis
Study Type
Expecting 163 study participants
Last Updated