If you have a lung or heart condition, you can regularly use a small gadget at home called a . Is called pulse oximeter. Despite your familiarity with them, you may have noticed lately that pulse oximeters are popping up online in the news and in various sources – all due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Unfortunately, one of the mysteries of COVID-19 is that without seeing the patient the level of oxygen in the blood can become dangerously low, also known as “silent hypoxia,” which can be present in people who have Otherwise may be considered asymptomatic. However, a pulse oximeter can serve as a potential life-saving solution, allowing people suffering from COVID-19 to monitor their oxygen levels at home, and costs less than £ 30.
Although reliability studies show mixed results, with many doctors advising patients to take one, pulse oximeters are now being introduced in the UK for high-risk COVID patients. Within this article, we have answered common questions about the small go-to gadget on how it works and whether it can help detect COVID-19 at home.
What is a Pulse Oximeter?
A pulse oximeter is a small device that provides an accurate way of measuring your blood oxygen level by shining a light into your finger. This is a simple, painless test that is usually placed on your fingers or ear lobe and uses infrared light refraction to measure how well oxygen is binding to your red blood cells.
A pulse oximeter is a traditional medical device often used by people with respiratory problems, or individuals who need to monitor their blood oxygen levels, such as athletes. It is commonly used for testing and monitoring patients in clinical environments, such as in GP surgery, however, it is common practice for people mentioned in the above groups to use pulse oximeters for home monitoring.
The oximeter display will show the percentage of oxygen in your blood. According to British Lung FoundationFor a healthy person, the normal blood oxygen saturation level would be around 95-100%. If the oxygen level is below this percentage, it may be a sign that there is a lung problem. If the number falls below this, you should check with your health care professional.
Can a pulse oximeter be a helpful tool for monitoring COVID-19 at home?
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-treating at home, a pulse oximeter can be a helpful tool to monitor your oxygen levels so you can detect low oxygen levels early .
According to BBC NewsPulse oximeters are being given in the UK to people with COVID who are over the age of 65, are under age but have health problems, or anyone doctors are concerned about. If the oxygen level of these people drops to 93-94%, they are being encouraged to speak to their GP or call 111. Also, if these levels fall below 92%, then these people are advised to go to A&E or call 999. for an ambulance. It is important to note that there is not a universal SpO2 number indicating that a person’s oxygen level is healthy. Therefore, it is necessary to check with your health care professional if you are concerned.
Can a pulse oximeter diagnose COVID-19?
There seems to be some confusion as to whether a pulse oximeter can diagnose COVID-19 at home. However, the answer is no. A pulse oximeter may indicate problems with blood oxygen levels, which may possibly be related to later coronaviruses, but is not an option for clinical evaluation.
It’s important to get tested if you have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. Although a pulse oximeter can be a helpful tool to monitor your health, it should not be used to diagnose COVID-19.
Can a pulse oximeter save a life?
Inada-Kim, Consultant and National Clinical Lead of Acute Medicine at Hampshire Hospitals Covid Oximetry at Home The project, told BBC News that “the aim of this whole strategy is to try to get patients to the more preventable point of their disease, by getting people to get that sick early.” He said that there is no definite proof that the pulse Oximeter Saves lives and by spring it can take time to know for sure if it is making a difference. However, early signs are positive and may help reduce the pressure on emergency services.
He also told BBC News that he is so confident of the oximeter’s role in combating silent hypoxia that he thinks everyone should consider buying it. “Personally I, and I know many colleagues who have purchased pulse oximeters to distribute to their loved ones, ”said Dr. Inada-Kim.
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