The Importance of Oximeters for COVID-19 Self-Isolating Patients

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The Importance of Oximeters for COVID-19 Self-Isolating Patients
The Importance of Oximeters for COVID-19 Self-Isolating Patients

Recently, WHO appealed to all people, especially those who are undergoing self-isolation, to have an oximeter. This tool is used to measure oxygen levels in the blood and prevent he alth problems that can be caused by a lack of oxygen in the body

Until now, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 is still increasing. Various he alth institutions, including WHO, have begun to advise the public to provide oximeters at home.

The Importance of Oximeters for COVID-19 Self-Isolating Patients - Alodokter

Oximeter (pulse oximeter) is a device that measures oxygen levels in the blood. This tool is important for you to have because conditions of lack of oxygen in the body generally do not cause symptoms.

In fact, this condition is very dangerous and life-threatening if not treated immediately. Therefore, it is important to always monitor oxygen levels in the body, especially for someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing self-isolation.

However, not only for COVID-19, this tool also plays an important role in detecting oxygen levels in the blood that can decrease due to various other conditions or diseases, such as:

  • Breathing failure
  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Heart failure
  • Anemia
  • Asphyxia

How to Use Oximeter

This tool is generally in the form of a clip that is used by clamping it on the finger. Once installed, the sensor on the oximeter will evaluate the amount of hemoglobin or a substance in red blood cells whose job is to transport oxygen throughout the body.

The oximeter is equipped with a small monitor screen. On the monitor screen, the results of the measurement of oxygen levels in the blood will be displayed.

The following are some tips and how to use the oximeter properly and correctly:

  • Wash hands before and after using the oximeter.
  • Make sure your nails are clean, not long, and avoid using dark nail polish or artificial nails.
  • Warm your fingers, especially if they feel cold.
  • Turn on the oximeter and place your finger, either your index, middle or thumb, between the oximeter's clamps.
  • After the oximeter is installed, be quiet and wait for a few seconds for the device to successfully measure the oxygen level in the blood.

On the oximeter screen, two numbers appear with different meanings. Numbers marked with %SpO2 indicate oxygen saturation in the blood, while numbers marked as HR (heart rate) indicate your pulse or heart rate.

Oxygen saturation is said to be normal if the oxygen saturation value (%SpO2) is 95% or more. Meanwhile, a person is said to have oxygen deficiency or hypoxemia if the oxygen saturation value drops to less than 92%. This condition requires immediate medical attention.

The Importance of Having an Oximeter When Self-Isolating

The level of oxygen saturation in the blood can only be determined in two ways, namely by using an oximeter and supporting examinations in the form of blood gas analysis. Unfortunately, these investigations are not practical and can only be performed in clinical laboratories or hospitals.

Therefore, WHO urges COVID-19 patients or people who are undergoing self-isolation to have an oximeter.This is because some COVID-19 patients may experience happy hypoxia or silent hypoxia, which is a condition of decreased oxygen saturation in the blood without any symptoms.

If you don't get treatment, the condition of decreased oxygen levels can cause tissue and organ damage, and even lead to fatal complications, such as respiratory failure and sudden death.

By routinely checking oxygen levels in your blood, you can monitor whether your body is getting enough oxygen and you can immediately go to the doctor if you experience a lack of oxygen.

The sooner treatment is carried out, the lower the risk of dangerous complications or severe COVID-19 symptoms. Therefore, an oximeter is an important tool to have, especially if you are a COVID-19 patient and are self-isolating at home.

If you experience symptoms of decreased oxygen levels in the blood, such as shortness of breath, weakness, pale skin, and bluish-looking nails and lips, immediately contact a doctor or the nearest he alth facility for treatment.

Make sure you always monitor the oxygen level in the blood, because a decrease in oxygen saturation can occur suddenly without any obvious symptoms. Therefore, provide an oximeter at home and don't forget to always apply he alth protocols wherever you are.

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