One of the mysteries of Covid-19 is why blood oxygen levels can drop to dangerously low levels without the patient noticing. It is known as “silent hypoxia.”
As a result, patients were arriving in hospital in far worse health than they realized and, in some cases, too late to treat effectively. But a potentially life-saving solution, in the form of a pulse oximeter, allows patients to monitor their oxygen levels at home, and costs about 1,300 pesos.
They are being rolled out for high-risk Covid patients in the UK, and the doctor leading the plan thinks everyone should consider buying one.
A pulse oximeter slips over your middle finger and shines a light into the body. To calculate blood oxygen levels, it measures how much of the light is absorbed. A normal blood oxygen level is between 95 and 100 percent.
Dr. Matt Inada-Kim, a consultant in acute medicine at Hampshire Hospitals, said, “With Covid, we were admitting patients with oxygen levels in the 70s or low-or-middle 80s.”