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GPs offering pulse oximeters to those vulnerable to COVID-19

Devices to monitor oxygen levels and pulse rate are being offered to those patients in Calderdale that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of covid-19 and suffer from breathlessness or other associated symptoms.

Patients or their carers can use these devices, called pulse oximeters, at home and if the readings show oxygen levels are starting to fall, the patient can be referred to hospital to get the necessary treatment.

Dr Farrukh Javid, GP at Rastrick Health Centre and Calderdale’s clinical lead for Calderdale’s oximetry service said: “If you have symptoms or test positive for covid-19 and are over 65 years old or in a clinically at-risk group, your GP may provide you with a pulse oximeter.

“These devices are very easy to use and allow us to monitor oxygen levels in a person’s blood. If the levels start to drop below safe levels, you can be referred to the hospital earlier to get the treatment you need as soon as possible. So far, GP practices and care homes in Calderdale have received over 1,300 oximeters to be made available to local people.

“This is important because seeking medical attention early in the course of the disease means there is much less chance of them becoming severely unwell and needing treatment in an intensive care unit.”