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Jan 6, 2022

COVID Chronicles–Small Instrument Makes Big Difference

If you’re a COVID patient and you’re at home struggling to breathe, doctors recommend obtaining a tiny instrument that could mean the difference between life and death. In fact, anyone who suffers from a respiratory illness can purchase this, and they are not that expensive. Here’s Marion Ali with this week’s COVID Chronicles.


Marion Ali, Reporting

This is called a pulse oximeter. It is a device that is used to measure the level of oxygen circulating in your blood as well as your heart rate.


Dr. Shanna Pott

Dr. Shanna Pott, Medical Doctor

“This is an important marker in COVID patients, whether they’re hospitalized or at home because by monitoring your saturation, then you know how the lungs are performing. This reflects the performance of your lungs and can give us an idea whether the lungs are affected or not. If you see your oxygen saturation declining and going into the lower nineties, upper eighties, then of course you need to seek medical attention right away.”


Dr. Shanna Pott says monitoring your saturation can help you to make the right decision that can save your life. Doctors administer oxygen support and take x-rays and tests to determine how severely compromised your lungs have become by the disease you have. And, while COVID has become the most prevalent respiratory illness worldwide since 2019, the device also serves well for patients who suffer from other types of lung diseases.


Dr. Shanna Pott

“The normal saturation is anywhere between ninety-five to a hundred percent, we would say; however, there are patients who might saturate a bit lower because of chronic diseases such as emphysema, C.O.P.D., chronic smokers, asthma patients, that sort of thing, and then of course, where we’re focused on right now – COVID patients. Even sometimes patients who have recovered from COVID and are in the post-COVID phase, they might still see this altered or low because of the scars left behind by COVID.”


The pulse oximeter is easy to use. Even a patient can understand its readings.


Dr. Shanna Pott

“It’s showing me two readings here – your heart rate and your oxygen saturation. Here, the first one that’s in yellow, that’s your saturation. And as you can see, it’s at a hundred, so that’s perfect, right. And then your pulse is at ninety-nine.”


As is shown here, the device gives off your readings just seconds after it is clipped around your index finger. The pulse oximeter can be purchased at pharmacies around the country for as low as fifty dollars at some places.


Reporting for News Five, I am Marion Ali.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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