By Donna Westfall – October 6, 2021

I was reading an article in The Jerusalem Post from September 16th about Oximeters. It starts out, “A simple and inexpensive device saved my daughter’s life”.

His 43 year old daughter, mother of five, was the last to get Covid 19 in the family and it was a severe case. He called his brother, a retired doctor living in the US, what steps he could take.

His brother advised him to use an oximeter. This device measures blood oxygen levels.

I looked up the cost of an oximeter and the cheaper models range from $15 to $40.

The more expensive models run $600-$770.

What do they do and why are they so valuable?

It has to do with the lungs. In normal pneumonia, the lungs become infected, then there’s a lack of oxygen and one feels shortness of breath. But with Covid, there is a lack of oxygen without feeling shortness of breath and that’s where an oximeter comes in.

By monitoring your oxygen levels, you can tell if you’re going into a clinical emergency. Normal pulse oximeter readings usually range from 95 to 100 percent. Values under 90 percent are considered low.

His daughter had a fever for four days. She got an oximeter, and sure enough, her blood oxygen levels were critically low. She went to the hospital and was given supplemental oxygen and steroids. She eventually recovered.

While the numbers of Covid cases are decreasing in Del Norte County, if you’re sick with a fever, self monitoring with an oximeter could be a lifesaver.

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