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Oximeter- is it helpful to track the oxygen levels for Covid-19 Patients?

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Suddenly there has been extreme demand for Oximeter for the covid-19 patients as it seems like these small units are very important to track the oxygen levels. This unexpected need for Oximeter has resulted in the clearance of stocks which also led to the crowd standing at medical stores. Usually, these units are required for lung or heart condition to monitor the health of the patient, but now oximeters appeared to be the most important device for the tracking of the health of the covid-19 patients.

How an Oximeter works for a patient?

So it would be better to know the mechanism of the oximeter and how they track down the health of the patients. It detects the blood oxygen levels of a person by clipping one finger without any pain and while you breathe as the oxygen enters your lungs and passes through thin membranes and enters your bloodstream. Then the oximeter measures the oxygen level through red blood cells via oxygen saturation measurement called SpO2.

Is it helpful for Covid-19 Patients?

The Covid-19 enters the human body through the respiratory system affecting lungs via inflammation resulting in the oxygen level in the bloodstream and this is the reason for the critical condition of the patients. Apparently not every covid-19 patients show low oxygen levels but still have a fever, muscle pain in their body. That’s the reason the use of an oximeter alone is not appropriate to detect the Covid-19 patients as normal oxygen levels do not mean that you can’t have the infection so a proper Covid test is required.

However, it is a helpful tool in the case of mild fever to track the oxygen levels of a patient at home if it is too low to treat. It is generally important for patients to diagnose with lung and heart disease. In another case like ‘Happy Hypoxia’ which is asymptomatic for the patients, a pulse oximeter is helpful to detect the oxygen level in advance. If you are already tested positive for the Covid-19 then you should visit your doctor for the proper consultation.

 Is Oximeter useful to track health at home?

If a covid-19 patient is tracking their status at home, then your SpO2 should be above 90-92% and if it drops then medical evaluation is suggested. An oximeter is effective when the patient’s baseline SpO2 is already detected as it may vary for pre-existing COPD, heart failure, or obesity cases.

Sometimes Oximeter readings are less accurate if a patient has circulatory issues with poor blood flow to the extremities like very cold hands, intrinsic vascular disease. Apparently fake nails or certain dark-colored nail polish can distort the reading of the oximeter in some cases. So it is suggested to measure at least one finger per hand of the patient to confirm the reading.

| Oxygen Saturation Level | Blood Oxygen Level | Pulse Oximeter Readings |

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