COVID-19: How to use Pulse Oximeter? 8-step Guideline For Using A Pulse Oximeter By The Government

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The pulse oximeter is used to measure the oxygen level (oxygen saturation) of the blood. A pulse oximeter is useful for estimating blood oxygen levels. It uses light beams to estimate the oxygen saturation of the blood and the pulse rate. Oxygen saturation gives information about the amount of oxygen carried in the blood. The pulse oximeter can estimate the amount of oxygen in the blood without having to draw a blood sample.

On the Twitter handle of citizen engagement platform of Government of India, the government shared a tweet giving detailed step by step guide on using pulse oximeter to check oxygen levels. This comes in after reports of lack of oxygen in many hospitals in the entire country. The doctors and experts have suggested COVID-19 patients who are under treatment and in isolation at home to check their oxygen levels on their own. Coming to the hospital for the checkup can put you at a greater risk of getting infected with this deadly virus. And, it is also important to take all necessary precautions including regular hand washing and sanitizing, wearing masks and social distancing.

The government shared a step-by-step guideline on how to use the pulse oximeter on its Twitter handle. Oximeter plays a role only in giving a clue that the patient is otherwise normal, but he has a sudden drop in the oxygen level.

Take a look here at the step-by-step guide to use a pulse oximeter.

Here is how to use a Pulse Oximeter:

Step 1: Remove any nail polish/false nails & warm your hand if cold.

Step 2: Rest for at least 5 minutes before taking your measurement.

Step 3: Rest your hand on your chest at heart level & hold it still.

Step 4: Switch on the oximeter & place it on your middle or index finger.

Step 5: The reading takes time to steady, Keep the oximeter in place for at least a minute or longer if the reading is not stable.

Step 6: Record the highest result once it has not changed for 5 seconds.

Step 7: Identify each reading carefully.

Step 8: Start recording from baseline & record three times a day at the same time. Take extra measures if you feel a change in your health.

Call 1075 if you feel seriously ill, are unable to complete short sentences while resting, due to breathlessness and if your oxygen level is 92% or less. For better oxygenation at home, the Indian government has also advised COVID-19 patients to lie down on their belly with 4-5 pillows under them.

This is known as the ‘proning position’, which is an exercise that helps in treating patients who have mild respiratory problems due to Coronavirus.

Self Proning

Covid-19 patients have also been asked to take a 6-minute walk test in which one should check the oxygen levels both before and after six minutes of walking inside the room. Do not go out to take a walk and stay quarantined. If there is a fluctuation of 4 percent or more, then you should rush to the hospital.

  • Feel seriously ill.
  • Are unable to complete short sentences, while resting, due to breathlessness.
  • Your oxygen level is 92% or less.

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