Millions of COVID-19 patients are in home isolation across the country. However, you must have seen that while some COVID-19 patients are treated at home, they are advised to monitor their oxygen level. When the coronavirus infection reaches the lungs the patient may have trouble breathing. If the oxygen level in their body is low, then the doctor usually rushes a patient to the hospital or clinic as per their advice. Oximeter plays a crucial role in this case. This handy device can help you check your oxygen levels at home. But since its usage has increased during the pandemic, many believe that an oximeter can determine whether a person is COVID-19 positive or not. This is not true. So, what is pulse oximeter? How can you take SpO2 reading on this device? Here's everything about Oximeter that you should know of. Can a Simple Pulse Oximeter Detect COVID-19 Symptoms at Home? Here's How the Device Works to Measure Oxygen Levels in Your Body. 

What is an Oximeter And How To Use?

A pulse oximeter is a small device with a digital display, also called PPO i.e. a portable pulse oximeter. Like a paper or cloth clip, it is pressed into the patient's finger to check the body's oxygen levels. It has to be turned on before or after being stuck onto the finger and with the help of this device, the patient's pulse and blood oxygen levels are detected. Its reading is shown on the digital display. Through this, COVID-19 patients can check their oxygen level at regular intervals.

How Does an Oximeter Work?

On turning on the pulse oximeter, a light is seen inwards. The light on your skin can detect the colour and movement of blood cells. Your blood cells, which contain the right amount of oxygen, appears bright red, while the rest looks dark red.

What Is The Optimum Oxygen Level?

The saturation level of oxygen in the blood of a healthy normal person is between 95 and 100 percent. Oxygen level below 95 percent indicates some kind of lung problems.  Experts say that oxygen level below 90 percent can indicate serious health issues in a person and they should be taken to the hospital. People with low oxygen level may need oxygen support. Although this standard is for a normal person and may differ from patient to patient. Therefore a doctor's advice is MUST.

What is SpO2 in Oximeter?

SpO2 refers to the oxygen saturation level. It's a measure of the amount of the amount of oxygen circulating in blood vessels that helps us in breathing. The normal SpO2 is considered between 95 and 100 percent.

Pulse Oximeter Does NOT Detect COVID-19!

Oxygen levels in the body can be low due to many reasons. A low oxygen level does not mean that the person taking the test has contracted COVID-19. This device does not tell whether someone is infected by coronavirus or not. This device helps to monitor oxygen levels only. This, however, helps to ascertain whether the patient needs to be taken to the hospital or not.

Why is Oximeter Important During COVID-19 Pandemic

It is usually used to monitor patients after surgery. However, patients who are suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, eosinophilia etc., keep it in their home. Only the data of the pulse oximeter suggests that the patient does not need extra oxygen! The importance of this machine has increased in the Corona period. With the help of an oximeter, early diagnosis of COVID-19 can take place which, in turn, can reduce the death rate.

About availability and prices, you must know that oximeters are easily available online and offline. You can get it at your nearest chemist shop but it is advisable that you get it online from various medical non-medical shopping sites. The price can range from 800 to 4000 depending on the features.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 12, 2021 11:12 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).