Early detection of COVID infection is extremely important for the best results from medical intervention. Nobody argues with that. Now it is clear that there is an additional, rather simple, non-invasive test that really helps. It’s something you probably already have become acquainted with. It is a test of oxygen saturation in the blood. THIS TEST SHOULD BECOME AS WIDESPREAD AS TEMPERATURE MONITORING.
It is not hard to learn how to do PULSE OXIMETER MONITORING. It has the huge advantage of telling us when the COVID virus may be active before ANY OTHER SYMPTOMS are suspected.
When oxygen saturation of the blood begins to drop below 80% it would be important to get medical attention. Physicians are now agreeing that a drop in oxygen saturation might be the first symptom of things going wrong as a result of COVID infection.
Here in Thailand I understand every neighborhood public health clinic has pulse oximeter monitoring equipment that will show pulse rate as well as oxygen levels.
In the USA as well as here, pressure to reopen businesses and relax quarantines is becoming overwhelming. People argue, “I’m not sick!” because they don’t feel sick. But the facts are that COVID is a more devious virus than most others. The majority of people who are positive do not feel sick. It’s no use arguing with them. They are beginning to ignore restrictions meant to protect them and impede the spread of the virus. But they might have a second thought if there was some irrefutable fact they could find out in less than a minute such as, “Your oxygen level is dangerously low!”
[Thanks to my friend Roy for drawing my attention to a New York Times article about this, just after I had read several reports of the US Vice President and people at a funeral refusing to take standard precautions for various reasons, including a relative who believes the media is making all this up.]
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.