Pulse oximeter, a device that used to be found only in clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities earlier, has now become a household item. Not only is the oximeter readily available in medical stores and e-commerce websites, but it is also playing an extremely important role in managing patients with COVID-19 infection. While the device is being widely used to read oxygen saturation levels in patients, there is a proper way to use it.
Recently, MyGov shared the correct way to use an oximeter so that undue panic can be avoided due to incorrect results. Doctors across the country have been advising that there is no need to panic as long as COVID-19 patients are displaying oxygen saturation of 93 and above. The following are the steps to obtain an accurate oxygen saturation reading:
- Any nail polish or false nails must be removed before taking a reading.
- If the patient’s hands are cold, they need to be warmed prior to using an Oximeter.
- Patients must rest their hands on their hearts and hold them still.
- Oximeter once switched on, needs to be placed on the middle or index finger.
- An oximeter will have to be placed on the finger until a stable reading is obtained. It may sometimes take a minute or longer.
- The highest reading needs to be recorded once the same reading is displayed for over 5 seconds.
- Oxygen saturation should be measured three times a day every day at the same time.
What to Do If a Low Oxygen Level is Displayed on the Oximeter?
Suppose a COVID-19 infected individual experiences the following symptoms they are advised to immediately call 1075:
- Oxygen level is 92 percent or less.
- If a patient is unable to complete short sentences while resting due to breathlessness.
- If a patient feels seriously ill.