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Covid patients given early warning home oxygen monitors by paramedics

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Coronavirus patients who call an ambulance but are not yet sick enough to go to hospital are being given new home oxygen monitoring kits to help spot those who may deteriorate earlier.

Across the Thames Valley region, thousands of patients will be given the kits which include a pulse oximeter device to monitor blood oxygen levels, a diary to track their symptoms and advice on what to do if they become sicker.

South Central Ambulance Service Trust (SCAS) has become the first ambulance service in the country to launch the scheme after research showed a small drop in oxygen levels among some patients could be an early warning sign of serious complications.

Patients with pneumonia and non-Covid lung conditions often experience shortness of breath before a drop in oxygen levels. But with coronavirus, patients can suffer what has been called ‘silent hypoxia’ where their oxygen levels can fall before the patient becomes breathless and calls for help.

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Source: The Independent, 2 February 2021

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