Coronavirus: Using oxygen at home?

Sun Online Desk

2nd May, 2021 03:04:12 printer

Coronavirus: Using oxygen at home?


Amidst a widespread crunch of hospital beds and resources, there's also a rising demand for oxygen support machines, cylinders and other therapies, with many COVID+ patients being advised to manage the condition at home to the extent it would be possible.

Intermittent use of oxygen, which doctors are observing right now, is not helpful either.

If you are using oxygen at home right now and have tested positive for the virus, here are some tips to remember:

When to use oxygen?

*Oxygenation should be preferred when blood oxygen levels (SpO2) readings drop below 93%. Ideal oxygen levels should be between 94-99%.

*While no oxygen therapy can instantly boost oxygen levels or restore them to normal, COVID+ patients should aim to achieve a saturation between 88-92%.

*Experts also advise that achieving 100% saturation shouldn't be done, when the body is sick, and more so, will exhaust your resources quicker- whether it is a concentrator or cylinder that you use, Times of India reported.

Dr Randeep Guleria, Chief, AIIMS New Delhi recently advised patients to keep in mind certain precautions before making use of external oxygen:

* For those individuals who are having an oxygen saturation of 92 or 94, there is no need to take high oxygen just to maintain your saturation.

* If your saturation is above 95, you don't need to take oxygen.

* If it is less than 94, you need close monitoring but you still may not need oxygen because oxygen is still sufficient in blood if the patient is healthy", he said.

* Patients with chronic respiratory disorders may require saturation to be maintained at higher levels, but aiming for a percentage above 97 won't do much benefit.

A treating doctor would also be able to advise how many litres of oxygen will you require per minute.