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COVID-19: Here's What to Check Before Buying Oximeter

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

A pulse oximeter is a compact device used for painless monitoring of pulse and oxygen metrics but with a wide variety of options available online, it is often confusing

The disastrous second wave of COVID-19 has broken the spine of country’s healthcare infrastructure as India continuously records fresh surge in daily infections. Doctors and healthcare experts advise people to not panic in these adverse times, instead take proper measures for early tracking of the infection. Of the various COVID symptoms, a drop in oxygen level is the most common therefore a pulse oximeter has become a household necessity amid the unprecedented situation.

A pulse oximeter is a compact device used for painless monitoring of pulse and oxygen metrics but with a wide variety of options available online, it is often confusing.

To rule out the uncertainty, here are the important things one needs to consider before buying it: 

  • It is not compulsory to pay a high amount, the priority should be the accuracy of the oximeter. Finger pulse oximeters range from around ₹1000 and to ₹5000 or more, but in the end, its main job is to read blood oxygen level accurately.
  • When it comes to features, one needs to make sure that the material of the oximeter is durable, and has a clear display.
  • Of all the factors, accuracy is the most important to consider while buying any medical equipment. Though there is no way to check accuracy prior, one can rely on reviews and certifications before making the purchase.
  • There are a few organizations that put a stamp on the quality, standards, and accuracy of medical devices. These certifications are FDA, RoHS and CE.
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How to use Oximeter?

At times when the oximeter is not used properly, it tends to give improper results. Mostly the oximeters turn on as soon as one inserts its finger in the cavity, with the nail side up. In some pulse oximeters, a button needs to be pressed, before inserting the finger, to start the reading.

Usually, healthy people record 95% SpO2 (unit used to measure body’s oxygen saturation level) while people suffering from some ailment might witness a little lower oxygen level. If the reading falls doctors suggest to practice proning, but one must also consult a medical practitioner.

COVID-19 virus enters the body via the respiratory system directly injuring the lungs of the infected person which impacts the oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. A drop in oxygen level can happen to anyone even if the patient is asymptomatic.

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