Thermometer and Pulse Oximeter: COVID-19 Essentials

By now we’re pretty much familiar with corona virus disease 2019 or COVID-19. We’re going to take a look at two gadgets that are COVID-19 essentials.

Common symptoms:

  • fever (38°C (100.4°F) or higher)
  • dry cough
  • tiredness/fatigue

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhea
  • conjunctivitis (pink eyes)
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away for the next steps.

One of the most important tools you have for detecting COVID is the thermometer. It is used to measure body temperature and detect if there’s a fever. Depending on the type of thermometer, measurement can be taken from the forehead, ear, armpit, or rectum. A reading of 38°C ( 100.4°F) or higher indicates a fever.

The next important tool is a pulse oximeter. A pulse oximeter is a device that measures oxygen levels. One of the risks of COVID is silent hypoxia (low levels of oxygen in the tissue and organs). This oxygen deficiency cannot be felt by patients.

This is where a pulse oximeter can help. This can be used in monitoring a COVID patient whether at the hospital, at the quarantine facility, or at home. But this can also be used to monitor someone suspected of having COVID especially when the common symptoms don’t manifest.

To to take a reading:

  • keep patient’s body upright, sitting position
  • keep patient’s arm straight, and at a lower level than heart
  • apply on index or middle finger of dominant hand

Normal oxygen level is 94-99. 90 is low and you should talk to your doctor. A reading of 70 is a serious matter and you should immediately go the emergency room.

And that’s it, two simple but essential gadgets for COVID-19.