If you are in the medical community, you are likely aware of the utility of a pulse oximeter. The small, easily-transportable device is used to measure the saturation of oxygen carried within one’s red blood cells. Pulse oximetry is a common form of testing patients in many medical practices, however 2020’s COVID-19 outbreak may cause pulse oximeters to be a common tool in the medicine cabinet at home.
Dr. Richard Levitan wrote for the New York Times about when we volunteer at a hospital in New York City this past March (2020). “Over those days, I realized that we are not detecting the deadly pneumonia the virus causes early enough and that we could be doing more to keep patients off ventilators - and alive,” said Dr. Levitan.
There were a vast amount of patients without respiratory complaints that had COVID pneumonia. The doctor claims that although patients did not report any breathing problems, their chest X-rays and oxygen levels indicated that there was a “silent hypoxia” happening in the body. This oxygen deprivation could have been spotted earlier and prevented with a pulse oximeter.
“Patients compensate for the low oxygen in their blood by breathing faster and deeper - and this happens without their realizing it,” reported Dr. Levitan. He also stated that nearly twenty percent of pneumonia patients carry on to a second and more fatal phase of lung injury.
A pulse oximeter is a small device that clips on to the finger, toe, or earlobe. If it becomes common practice for individuals to regularly test their blood oxygen saturation, the numbers of those affected by the “silent hypoxia” that Dr. Levitan warned about can likely diminish greatly. “In terms of COVID-19, a pulse oximeter can help detect or monitor breathing issues associated with COVID-19 or COVID-19 pneumonia," reported Health.com. "The devices can be especially helpful for those experiencing shortness of breath with diagnosed COVID-19 - either to keep an eye on progress or to determine when it’s worth an emergency room visit.”
Jaken Medical offers a wide variety of pulse oximeters to choose from. The most recently added to our online store is the SureLife Clearwave Pulse Oximeter. Please feel free to contact us or call us at (888) 559-5253 if you have any questions!