A device that costs as little as R130 has a good chance of saving your life if you’re a high-risk Covid-19 patient.
A study of more than 38,000 high-risk patients who tested positive for The virus was tested found a 48% lower chance of death in those who used a pulse oximeter at home.
This was because a decrease in oxygen saturation was noted earlier, which in turn meant that the patients did were sick when they were hospitalized and needed less intensive care and mechanical ventilation.
The research was carried out by Discovery Health, which has distributed thousands of the devices to members considered to be at risk from Covid – 19.
The threat level is increased by diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, HIV, cancer and liver disease. Pregnant women were also eligible for the devices, and Discovery looked at the claims over the past 12 months to assess the members’ risk of developing severe Covid-19.
After they were given an oximeter, they were members asked their heart rate and oxygen saturation levels twice a day.
Now, Discovery has compared the 60-day death rate of 8,115 oximeter users and a control group of more than 30,000 high-risk members who were not sent the devices, and published its Results in the South African Medical Journal.
“Home monitoring … resulted in a 48% lower likelihood of death compared to the control group,” it said, adding that it was “significantly lower”.
A team led by Dr. Shirley Collie of Discovery’s Strategic Risk Management and Data Science division said the difference in mortality between the oximeter group and the control group with their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels was on the day of hospital admission.
This is a measure of inflammation and a normal level on a blood test is less than 10 milligrams per liter (mg / L). Worldwide studies have shown that elevated CRP is an early marker of the severity of Covid-19.
Collie’s team found that among the patients for whom results were available on the day of hospitalization, the oximeter group had a lower group Severity had illness, with a median CRP value of 45 mg / l compared to 70 mg / l in the control group.
Covid-19 patients often succumb to silent hypoxemia, in which oxygen saturation decreases, although they look good and have no significant breathing problems.
Early hospital admissions allow interventions such as oxygen supplementation and prone positioning – or front positioning – so that saturation can be kept above 90%, the level at which more People were found dying.
Of the Discovery study group of 38,660, 321 were hospitalized and 544 died, including 49 who were given oximeters.
However, Collies T eam said if the mortality rate was the control group, 95 deaths could have been expected.
Those most at risk of dying were over 80, and the chronically ill, diabetics had the highest risk of 60-day mortality .
“[There was] a statistically significant improvement in 60-day mortality for the intervention group, although this group consists of elderly patients, with a higher prevalence of the five major comorbidities that are at risk for worse Results should have passed, ”the team reported.
Oximeters are widely used during the Covid-19 pandemic and prices at online retailers start at around R130.