THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An advisory issued by the health department strongly recommends the use of finger pulse oximeters for Covid-19 patients undergoing home treatment. According to the authorities, patients who opt for home care should procure the device which costs around Rs 2,000. Patients who have a basic knowledge on how to use the pulse oximeter would be granted home treatment.
“The state government will not be able to sponsor the device for all patients under home care. Daily self-monitoring of oxygen saturation is a must, it would be feasible with the finger pluse oximeter. The patient will have to monitor the oxygen level and maintain a note of daily symptoms and report the same to the health authorities everyday.
The local health officials will be maintaining a daily report of patients,” said an official. The patient will receive daily telephonic calls from the health authorities to enquire about his or her condition. “The doctors will be constantly checking on the patient. He or she will be immediately shifted to the hospital if symptoms develop. There are chances that the condition of the patient could worsen all of a sudden,” said the official.
How to use the finger pulse oximeter?
The patient must rest by sitting for at least five minutes before using the device. The oximeter can be clipped onto any one of the fingers preferably the index finger to gauge vitals signs of the body. Health officials should be contacted immediately if the oxygen saturation value is less than or equal to 94 per cent or the pulse rate is more than 90 beats per minute while at rest.
Self-care practices to be followed
Adequate warm water and fluids
Sufficient rest and sleep for about 7-8 hours in the night
Other red flags
Haemoptysis (coughing of blood)
Symptoms to watch for
Shortness of breath
Bluish lips or nose
Loss of smell or taste