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Could pulse oximeter help to detect COVID-19 at home?

Views:0     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-12-25      Origin:Site

Have you ever heard of a pulse oximeter also called blood oxygen monitor or fingertip pulse oximeter? If you have lung or heart disease, it can be used regularly at home to monitor your illness. Or maybe you got pinched in your finger while traveling in the emergency room or in the hospital.


But you may not know that a little pulse oximeter like this can be helpful in detecting COVID-19. This article will introduce the principle of a pulse oximeter and how to use a pulse oximeter. Hopefully, this article can help during this period. The content as follow:


Principle of a pulse oximeter

How can a pulse oximeter help detect COVID-19

Notice when you use the pulse oximeter to detect COVID-19


1. Principle of a pulse oximeter


A pulse oximeter is a painless and reliable way for clinicians to measure a person's blood oxygen levels.


As you breathe, oxygen enters your lungs, travels through the membrane, enters your blood - and is then absorbed by red blood cells and carried to various organs in the body.


A pulse oximeter is a tiny device that usually slides over your fingertip or clips to your ear lobe and uses infrared light refraction to measure how much oxygen binds to red blood cells. Pulse oximeter reports blood oxygen levels by measuring blood oxygen saturation called peripheral capillary blood oxygen saturation (SpO2).


2. How can a pulse oximeter help detect COVID-19


A small fingertip pulse oximeter has a big effect on COVID-19 detect.


The COVID-19 virus enters the body through the respiratory system and causes direct damage to the lungs through inflammation and pneumonia - both of which can negatively affect the ability of oxygen to move into the bloodstream. This oxygen damage can occur in multiple stages of COVID-19, not just in critically ill patients lying on a ventilator.


In fact, we have seen a clinical phenomenon in which people with COVID-19 may have very low oxygen levels, yet look very good, and this is called "happy hypoxia". Worryingly, these patients may be far sicker than they feel and therefore undoubtedly need more attention in the medical environment.


That's why you may be wondering if pulse oximeters can help with early detection of COVID-19.


However, not everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 produces low oxygen levels. Some people may feel very uncomfortable with fever, muscle soreness, and gastrointestinal discomfort, but never show low oxygen levels.


Ultimately, pulse oximeters should not be considered a screening test for COVID-19. Normal oxygen levels do not mean you are not infected. If you are concerned about exposure, you still need formal testing.


3. Notice when you use the pulse oximeter to detect COVID-19


If a person has a mild case of COVID-19 and is self-medicating at home, pulse oximeters can be a useful tool for checking oxygen levels so that low oxygen levels can be detected early. Generally, theoretically, the people who are more likely to have oxygen problems are those with lung disease, heart disease, and/or obesity, and those who are active smokers with low reading on the pulse oximeter.


Moreover, since "happy hypoxia" can occur in people who might be considered asymptomatic, pulse oximeters can help ensure that such clinically silent warnings are not missed.


If you test positive for COVID-19 and are concerned about developing any symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. From a lung health point of view, in addition to objective pulse oximeter measurements, I would also recommend that the patients have difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, uncontrollable coughing or dark lips or fingers and that it is time to go to the emergency room.


There is no universal pulse oximeter SpO2 number that indicates a person's oxygen level is healthy and ideal.


In order for the pulse oximeter to be an effective tool, you first need to know baseline SpO2 and remember that baseline reading may be affected by pre-existing COPD, heart failure, or obesity.


Next, it is important to know when the pulse oximeter SpO2 reading changes significantly. When pulse oximeter SpO2 is 100 percent, the clinical difference is actually zero, with a reading of 96 percent.

As a rule of thumb, patients with COVID-19 who monitor their clinical status from home will want to ensure that pulse oximeter SpO2 readings are consistently 90 to 92 percent or higher. If the pulse oximeter number continues to fall below this threshold, a timely medical assessment should be made.


If a person has circulatory problems related to poor blood flow to the extremities, such as cold hands, underlying vascular disease, or Raynaud's phenomenon, the pulse oximeter reading will be erroneously low. In addition, false nails or some dark nail polish (such as black or blue) may distort the reading.


If you want to know more tips for body health or other information on medical tools to find the best pulse oximeter, Thermometer, Stethoscope please leave a message or connect us directly.

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