A Pulse Oximeter Could Save Your Life

There is a serious problem with the Covid-19 testing. We all know that’s true, but it is worse than you think because, by the time your symptoms develop to the point where the people who are administering the tests will test you, your symptoms may have already escalated beyond the point of no return.

According to very reputable physicians, the reason that so many people are being killed by this virus is that they aren’t getting treatment soon enough.

There are two reasons that patients aren’t being identified and treated quickly enough.

The first reason they are not getting treated quickly enough, according to the article in the NY Times referenced below, is that, because of the peculiarities of this virus, patients aren’t even aware that they are suffering from hypoxia and, while they are still able to expel carbon dioxide, they are unable to get oxygen into their bloodstream. This means that their lungs are failing and they aren’t even aware of it.

The patients who end up getting intubated show up with oxygen levels that are sometimes down to as low as 50% without even being aware that they are suffering from severe hypoxia.

The second reason they are not getting treated quickly enough is that the testing protocols that have been set up require that the patient has already manifested serious breathing problems along with an elevated body temperature, or they have had contact with someone else who has manifested the symptoms of the disease.

By the time serious breathing problems have developed, it may already be too late to implement prophylactic measures that can short-circuit the progress of the disease.

Part of the problem with the whole treatment regimen is that older people, in general, and people who have compromised immune systems are accustomed to muscular pains, headaches, and nausea from BOTH their pre-existing conditions AND from their various medications.

As a consequence, the most fragile patients – the ones who should have been treated immediately for these symptoms – aren’t seeking treatment until it is too late, which is when serious to severe breathing issues make themselves manifest.

Dr. Richard Levitan, the doctor who invented the imaging system that is used to teach the intubation process to doctors and nurses, writes in the NY Times article on this subject that there is a simple way to determine whether you need immediate medical attention for the Covid-19 virus.

GET A PULSE OXIMETER. This is a very simple device. Your doctors have probably used oximeters on you numerous times. The pulse oximeter measures your pulse rate and your oxygen saturation level

YOU NEED TO HAVE ONE OF THESE DEVICES IN YOUR HOME. You need to monitor your oxygenation levels several times a day and keep track of your numbers. Anything above 94% is considered good. Anything between 94 and 90 is problematic. Anything under 90% should be an immediate call to action, especially if you have other symptoms such as the aforementioned muscular pains, headaches, nausea and elevated temperatures….but the blood oxygen level is a key determinant for Covid-19.

Do not go to a testing center. Go directly to the emergency room. Do not tell them that you think you have Covid-19 because they will send you away since you haven’t been tested. Tell them that your oxygenation level has fallen below 90%. Do not let them send you home in that condition because that could end up killing you.

Here is the good news: if you follow this advice, you will greatly increase the chances that you will survive this disease without being intubated if you are treated quickly enough.

Here is the bad news: most retail stores appear to out of stock on pulse oximeters, so you can’t run out and buy one right now. They are still available on Amazon (right now) for as little as $26, and they are promising delivery within seven days on some models (and they are all pretty much the same regardless of price.)

Given the prevalence and the virulence of this virus, do not wait until you develop obvious symptoms that drive you to seek treatment because that could be too late.

Instead, buy, beg or borrow an oximeter and determine your blood oxygen levels when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night.

This isn’t the first time I have posted this advice, but no one seemed to pay it any mind the first time. I’m hoping that, combined with the Times article, saying it again might do some good.

PS: If your blood oxygen level comes back between 90 and 94%, don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths, then bring your breathing back to normal. If you still can’t get your blood oxygen level up to 94, you might consider panicking. If you can’t get it up to 90, panic is recommended.

PPS: My current readings fluctuate between 94 and 97. So far, so good.

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