People who have been treated for an infection with Covid-19 may have seen their doctor use an oximeter. This small device similar to a clothespin that is attached to the end of the index finger can measure the level of oxygen in the blood. Its sensors can in fact report the flow in the blood capillaries, through the skin. Models can be used at home and cost around twenty euros in pharmacies.
Watch for severe forms of the disease
“When you’re sick, you don’t move a lot, you don’t use your lungs a lot,” explains Dr. Jacques Battistoni, president of the French Federation of General Practitioners. According to him, resting at home can lower our alertness to breathing difficulties. Therefore, the use of an oximeter makes it possible to have an objective measurement of the oxygen level in the blood. “We know that below a certain threshold, we actually have significant respiratory discomfort which requires rapid medical advice.”
Buying an oximeter is not essential for everyone who is positive for Covid-19. The device is especially indicated for severe symptoms, such as a strong cough or difficulty in breathing, and for people at risk. Doctors are in the best position to recommend them to their patients. The purchase is not reimbursed by social security.