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Coronavirus Symptoms: What Is The Normal Oxygen Saturation Range? Signs You Need Medical Help

Coronavirus Symptoms: What Is The Normal Oxygen Saturation Range? Signs You Need Medical Help
What Is Normal Oxygen Saturation Range? Signs You Need Medical Help

Drop-in oxygen levels among the COVID-19 patients have become a new cause of worry among the medical experts as deaths due to low oxygen saturation are rising in India daily. Here what you need to know about the normal oxygen saturation range.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Updated : April 28, 2021 9:57 AM IST

Coronavirus cases in India are rising sharply, in the last 24 hours, the country registered over 3.23 lakh new COVID-19 cases. Amid the spike, what is more, concerning right now is the rising number of cases where COVID patients are suffering from a sudden drop in their body's oxygen level.

In the second wave of coronavirus, one of the most common symptoms of this virus attack was shortness of breath or acute oxygen deprivation. Many people across the country have started stocking up on oxygen support machines and cylinders at home. But, the question right now is do all COVID patients need oxygen support? No, not really, not every COVID-19 patients are prone to face oxygen deficiency. Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), tells us when exactly patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to take help of the medical oxygen.

Speaking at a press conference, Guleria asserted that judicious use of medical oxygen is important to tackle the second wave of coronavirus which has left India in a severe panic mode. What is the most important thing right now? It is to understand what oxygen saturation really is, and when it is the right time to seek medical help.

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What Is Oxygen Saturation?

India is currently reeling under the second wave of novel coronavirus. In this new wave, COVID-19 has brought in some of the unusual and new symptoms. One of the common symptoms is drop in oxygen saturation level.

What exactly is oxygen saturation? oxygen saturation refers to the percentage of oxygenated haemoglobin in the blood of a person transported from the lungs to various other organs of the body. This is a vital functioning for the body's survival. Coming to the normal oxygen saturation level. A person is considered healthy when the oxygen level is above 94. Now, among the patients who are suffering from COVID-19, it has been noted that most of them whose conditions are serious have suffered from a sudden dip in the oxygen level. While the normal range is between 94-100, readings below 94 can lead to hypoxemia, which can invite several health complications. When your oxygen level is below 90, it can be considered as a warning sign that your health is degrading and this is the time when one should seek medical help.

"Oxygen is an important treatment strategy for COVID-19, but misuse of it is also an important factor. If your oxygen saturation is 92, 93, 94, 95, or over 96 it means that there is sufficient oxygen in your body (blood) and enough oxygen is reaching your organs," AIIMS Director Dr. Guleria was quoted as saying.

When Do COVID-19 Patients Actually Requires Medical Support?

Difficulty in breathing, acute chest pain is all common signs that can tell you that your oxygen level is not normal. However, in some cases, this can turn fatal and can bring in the need for medical interventions. As discussed above, oxygen saturation is important because this is what helps your organs to work properly. In case if there is an acute shortage of oxygen in your body, some of your organs may fail to perform and thus can turn fatal. How to know if your oxygen level is going down and that you need medical support? Here are some warning signs and symptoms.

  1. When your oxygen level is below 90 for more than 1-2 hours
  2. Sudden discoloration of your lips or face
  3. Acute pain in the chest
  4. A loss of oxygen level can also affect the blood flow to the brain, this can give rise to certain neurological issues.

DISCLAIMER: While several studies have shown that fluctuating oxygen levels could be managed at home to some extent, it is recommended to see a doctor if the drop in oxygen level (below 90) continues for more than 2 hours. Stay alert, stay healthy.

Read Also:

Hypoxia: What causes blood oxygen levels to drop in many Covid-19 patients?

COVID-19: Can pulse oximeter be your saviour?

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