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Covid: How a £20 gadget could save lives

PUBLISHED

One of the mysteries of COVID-19 is why oxygen levels in the blood can drop to dangerously low levels without the patient noticing.

It is known as "silent hypoxia" and as a result, patients have been arriving in hospital in far worse health than they realised and, in some cases, too late to treat effectively.

But a potentially life-saving solution, in the form of a pulse oximeter, allows patients to monitor their oxygen levels at home, and costs about £20.

They are being rolled out for high-risk Covid patients in the UK, and the doctor leading the scheme thinks everyone should consider buying one.

A normal oxygen level in the blood is between 95% and 100%.

"With Covid, we were admitting patients with oxygen levels in the 70s or low-or-middle 80s," said Dr Matt Inada-Kim, a consultant in acute medicine at Hampshire Hospitals.

He told BBC Radio 4's Inside Health: "It was a really curious and scary presentation and really made us rethink what we were doing."

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Source: BBC News, 21 January 2021

See hub resource on the 'Covid Oximetry @home' project

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