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Ask the Doctor: Covid-19: should we use home oximeter?


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The device can tell the amount of oxygen circulating in our blood stream

The device can tell the amount of oxygen circulating in our blood stream

The device can tell the amount of oxygen circulating in our blood stream

Q A friend of mine has bought a pulse oximeter to have at home in case anyone in her family gets coronavirus. She says she heard that it is too late, a lot of the time, when people get to hospital and this would alert her sooner than normal symptoms that there is a risk for serious illness. Is she right? Would a hospital take the results of her home oximeter seriously and admit her or test her on the basis of it?

A pulse oximeter is a simple device that is placed over the finger and can tell the amount of oxygen circulating in our blood stream. They are a very accurate way of determining if adequate amounts of oxygen are passing from the air we breathe into our circulating blood and are very helpful in determining the severity of certain acute or chronic lung and heart diseases. In a hospital setting, an arterial blood gas (ABG) test is needed to confirm that circulating blood-oxygen levels are low.


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