Pulse oximeters have become an essential household device to measure the oxygen level (SpO2) of the blood.
Dipping SpO2 levels is a key indicator of COVID-19 infection. However, not everyone who tests positive for the virus will develop low oxygen levels, which means you must not count an oximeter as the only screening test to determine if you’re infected or not. Formal testing is always a must if you suspect COVID-19 infection.
The Government of India has given an 8-steps guideline on how to use the pulse oximeter.
- Remove any nail polish / false nails and warm your hand if cold.
- Rest for at least 5 minutes before taking your measurement.
- Reset your hand on your chest at heart level hold it still.
- Switch on the oximeter and place it on your middle or index finger.
- The reading takes time to steady; Keep the oximeter in place for at least a minute or longer if the reading is not stable.
- Record the highest result once it has not changed for 5 seconds.
- Identify each reading carefully.
- Start recording from base line and record three times a day at the same times.
- Keep your mind and body relaxed to get accurate results.
- Do not move your hand while the reading is being checked. Keep it on a table or bed to avoid any reading deviations due to the movement.
- Do not use the device when there is a low-battery indication on the screen.
Do not move the device while the reading is being measured. Even a slight deviation can cause incorrect readings.