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APH buys 1,000 monitoring tools for Covid patients

Monday, July 13, 2020 by Tai Moses

A pulse oximeter is a tiny tool that measures the amount of oxygen in a patient’s blood. This handy metric helps health care providers determine how effectively the body is being oxygenated and can alert patients to contact their doctor or seek emergency care if the amount of oxygen in their blood drops. This test is especially useful for high-risk Covid-19 patients. Austin-Travis County Alternate Health Authority Dr. Jason Pickett explained in a news release, “Oxygen levels can drop dramatically in some Covid-19 patients, often long before they experience any severe symptoms. Using pulse oximetry will help both patients and their physicians make more informed decisions about the kind of care they may need.” Austin Public Health has purchased 1,000 wireless pulse oximeters, using CARES Act money, to distribute to high-risk Covid-19-positive patients so they can monitor themselves while fighting the virus. APH will show patients how to use the devices and how to interpret the results. “In addition to providing patients with valuable, potentially life-saving information, it is our hope that they will also provide some peace of mind for those that use them,” Pickett said. “This is a great tool for patients to assess their own condition and make appropriate decisions regarding their care.” CommUnityCare will distribute 500 of the pulse oximeters; the other 500 are being distributed by Austin Public Health to patients at the Austin-Travis County Isolation Facility and throughout the community at large.

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