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Announcement: Measure your blood oxygen saturation levels at home
Posted: Rossoe @ Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:44 pm
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic you may have heard the term ‘Blood oxygen saturation’ or Sp02 mentioned by doctors, relating to the amount of oxygen carrying haemoglobin in the blood relative to the amount of haemoglobin not carrying oxygen.

As patients that have experienced collapsed lungs you may be all too familiar with the device used to measure this critical reading. Doctors will often slip on a pulse oximeter to one of your thumbs or fingers which emits a light through your finger and gives a reading up to 100%.

A reading of 95 percent is considered normal for a healthy individual. Less than 92 would indicate hypoxia and a need for oxygen.

You can buy a pulse oximeter to use at home, have a browse on Amazon or your local chemist, they usually sell for around £25-35, and some doctors are even encouraging this at the moment to get a better indication of how you’re lungs are managing particularly when suffering from Covid-19. It’s worth noting that readings on cheaper units are sometimes inaccurate, particularly when levels of oxygen in the blood are low. It’s also worth noting that people with existing lung conditions may have a lower than average blood oxygen level as their baseline. And readings can be affected by false nails or nail varnish. So always discuss with health professionals to get the best advice on using these machines appropriately.

A couple of good links with approved medical advice on this subject:

British Lung Foundation information on Breathing and lung function tests:
https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/breathing-tests/tests-measure-oxygen-levels

NHS principles to support the remote monitoring, using pulse oximetry, of patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19:
https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/pulse-oximetry-to-detect-early-deterioration-of-patients-with-covid-19-in-primary-and-community-care-settings/

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