Fingertip oxygen monitoring keeps 4,500+ Covid patients safe at home

Up to 1200 vulnerable people per week in the South West with Covid-19 have benefited from home-based oxygen monitoring, in the first two months of 2022, helping them to receive the right support at the right time if they deteriorate.

The South West leads the regions in England for this Oximetry at Home service, but still more local residents can benefit to help keep them safe.

People who are eligible are from vulnerable or clinically at-risk groups.  These include people aged 65+, pregnant women, people with learning disabilities or long-term conditions, or those who are overweight.  The service is flexible enough to support patients who need it from their home.

Since Omicron was identified, the NHS has introduced new ways of supporting people with specific health conditions who have Covid-19. This includes monitoring their oxygen regularly to recognise if they become ill enough to need to be in hospital.

At-risk patients are given an oximeter, a small device, to attach to their fingertip. This records their blood oxygen levels completely painlessly and within seconds, at home for about 10 to 14 days. The service also provides guidance and support so people can easily record or report their readings to the NHS team.

Dr Kheelna Bavalia, Medical Director for NHS England and Improvement South West said: “Monitoring their oxygen levels at home is simple to do and will help keep vulnerable people safe and provide information about their risk of getting very ill. It’s a case of providing them with ‘InfO2 at their fingertips’.

“We have been working hard to support people to stay well at home with home oxygen monitoring.

“If your lateral flow test is positive, report it immediately to the NHS via the website, the NHS app, or by calling 119.  Our teams are aware of the most vulnerable people and can contact them about this service to monitor their oxygen levels.

“We know that decreasing oxygen levels can be an indicator of someone becoming very poorly. This service means we can support any vulnerable person, who has tested positive, from the place they call home. We can then predict, and act, if they need to be seen or be reviewed at their place of residence or come into a health care setting for any additional care.

“Also, people may continue to be monitored at home using this device via a ‘Covid Virtual Ward’, after being in hospital with Covid-19, to ensure their continued recovery.”

For more information visit NHS England and NHS Improvement South West » InfO2 @ Your Fingertips to see if you or someone you care for could be supported with oxygen monitoring at home while you have Covid-19.