COVID-19: Do I need a pulse oximeter?

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have learnt a lot about how it affects the human body and health in general. COVID-19 is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system with the potential to cause viral pneumonia.

A pulse oximeter is a cheap, simple yet effective way to monitor lung health. For patients who have tested positive for COVID may want to monitor their lung health and this can be done using a pulse oximeter.

It’s a non-invasive test that typically involves a small unit or sensor to wrap around a finger to measure the oxygen saturation in blood and pulse rate.

Oxygen saturation is measured in %SpO2. In a healthy subject, %SpO2 is expected to be anywhere between 95 to 99%, even at exertion. When levels drop below 90%, it is vital to be assessed without delay. The nature of the virus hinders the normal operation of our lungs that transfers oxygen to red blood stream. This in turn deprives vital organs of the oxygen it needs and if left untreated may result in death.

At the time of writing there is currently no cure although new treatments and drugs have emerged over time in a bid to reduce mortality rate. A vaccine produced by Oxford University as well as a few other candidates globally are currently going through last phases of clinical trials and are expected to role out as early as December.