Pulse Oximetry in the Diagnosis of COVID-19 – A study
The University of Benin Teaching Hospital emergency team handling COVID-19 has come out with a very interesting finding that will prove important in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients. The findings will also help doctors make empirical diagnosis of coronavirus before the arrival of a definitive tests.
According to their findings, a patient being evaluated for coronavirus, with an abnormal and unexplained low saturated oxygen pressure (SpO2) of less than 94 percent (tissue perfusion) is positive for COVID-19 until proven otherwise by a WHO recommended testing protocol which is PCR.
These findings have shown that pulse oximetry is a very useful medical tool in the diagnosis and management of COVID19 patients. The pulse oximeter is vital in the making of clinical diagnosis of coronavirus.
This is a memo released by the hospital and I think every healthworker should take note of this.
*UNIVERSITY OF BENIN TEACHING HOSPITAL Benin City.*
*COVID-19 pandemic: *HOSPITAL ADVISORY 11*
* THE IMPORTANCE OF PULSE OXIMETRY IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19*
Management has followed developments in the understanding of COVID-19 infection with keen interest. It is recognised that this is an evolving pandemic and health services must adapt to deal with it in the face of ever changing knowledge.
Several reports suggest that a finding of a low SpO2 appears to be a recurring feature in patients with the infection who do not appear to be very ill. Significantly, it appears to precede a rapid deterioration in their clinical state.
In view of this, a finding of an UNEXPLAINED abnormally low SpO2 level (less than 94%) in any patient seen in the hospital who is being reviewed as a possible COVID-19 should be considered significant and increase the index of suspicion that the case is indeed COVID-19, pending the outcome of test results.
This guidance is intended for use by the doctors and nurses in the emergency rooms and the Rapid Response Team.
Prof Casimir E. Omuemu
Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee/
Director, Clinical Services and Training
UBTH is an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients with over 15 cases and 5 discharges.