Oxygen saturation level in covid-19, the forerunner of crisis

21 June 2021 | Monday | Opinion

Normally, oxygen saturation level (SpO2) range is 95–100%. If it’s below this, it indicates lung problem. Target SpO2 range for COVID-19 patients is considered 92–96%.
source : https://www.agappe.com/

source : https://www.agappe.com/

As per norms. If the oxygen saturation is 94% or lower, the patient needs immediate attention. Saturation of less than 90% is a clinical emergency. Pulse-Oximeter gives you SpO2 level & heart rate/minute.

As observed, 80% of COVID-19 cases reported are mild. Only 15% Covid patients have moderate disease where one’s oxygen saturation level may go less than 94%. Remaining 5% Covid infected people end up having severe disease which shows respiratory rate higher than 30/minute & oxygen saturation level below 92%. SpO2 below 92% &/or fast, shallow breathing (23-30 respiratory cycles/min) were associated with crisis. COVID-19 positive patients should watch these signs at home & proceed for medical emergency. Normal respiratory rate is 14-18/minute & Fast breathing rates indicate respiratory distress.

Almost all patients with low oxygen levels, rapid breathing are given supplemental oxygen & steroidal medication in hospitals. Difficulty in breathing, confusion, difficulty in waking up, bluish lips or face are warning sign of hypoxia (less SpO2), are warning signs. People must be aware of how one can manage when oxygen levels are dipping. Happy Hypoxia is a condition where the oxygen levels in the blood are very low upto 40%, & patient is unaware of complications, leading to failure of vital body organs like kidneys, brain, heart. So, COVID-19 patient appears to be alright & “happy”. All asymptomatic COVID patients also, it’s better to monitor SpO2 readings & symptoms mentioned above. 

Oxygen concentrators are beneficial but should not be used without guidance from chest physician/internal medicine specialist. Purpose of oxygen therapy is to achieve a saturation level of 94%. Once the patient has 93%-94% oxygen level, oxygen therapy shall be discontinued. Excess of oxygen may lead to increase in the level of carbon dioxide, leading to complications.

PRONING is a procedure turning hypoxic COVID-19 patient with precise, safe motions, from their back onto their abdomen. So, individual is lying face down & then both sides. Proning is a medically accepted position to improves breathing comfort and oxygenation. 

TAILPIECE: By failing to prepare early, you are preparing to fail. Every home shall have one good Pulse-Oximeter & everybody has primary knowledge of SpO2, Hypoxia, Rapid breathing rates.

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