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Oximeter: A life saving device for COVID patients

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Tawhid Islam :
Oximeter is a medical device used to monitor blood saturated oxygen levels. A pulse oximeter continuously measures the level of oxygen saturation of haemoglobin in the arterial blood. It can detect hypoxia much sooner than the treatment provider can see clinical signs of hypoxia such as cyanosis. This ability to provide an early warning has made the pulse oximeter essential for safe life. For COVID-19 pandemic the demand and necessity of the pulse oximeteris radically increased all over the country.
 It displays when a COVID-19 patient should take oxygen therapy because not every COVID-19 patient experiences breathing problem. In some cases, COVID-19 disease tends to infect and damage lungs, causing the organ less effective in passing oxygen from the air to bloodstream. In this case oxygen supplement is required and there is no evidence of getting benefited by Oxygen therapy if a COVID-19 patient is not agonizing from abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood (Hypoxemia).
Research found that in maximum cases COVID-19 or SARS-COV-2 affects the respiratory system and causes breathing problem for pulmonary infection as a result alveolus turns to contract and cannot able to supply proper oxygen to the blood circulation.
Normal arterial oxygen is approximately 75-100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Values under 60mm Hg, usually indicate the need for supplemental oxygen. This value in the normal pulse oximeter readings usually ranges from 95 to 100 percent. Values under 90 percent are considered low.
 According to WHO, if the oxygen saturation is 94% or lower, the patient is hypoxic and needs to be treated quickly. A saturation of less than 90% is a clinical emergency. Usually, pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation in blood from pulse and help to determine when oxygen support is needed. Both the COVID-19 positive and suspected patients should check their blood oxygen saturation level because the oxygen support is not easily available in many hospitals in a crisis moment.
However, a faulty or substandard Oximeter may show false reading which can lead to patients in a danger stage even death rather than bring them any benefit. So, before buying this type of device take suggestion from doctor or pharmacist and make sure it will perform accurately.
(Tawhid Islam is a B. Pharm Student at Department of Pharmacy, Life Science Faculty, Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman Science and Technology University. E-mail: tawhidislam2021@yahoo.com)

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