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What is an Oximeter and Why Do I Need it?

If you haven’t already heard, our government will be giving each household in Singapore one free oximeter so that residents can monitor their blood oxygen levels regularly. So what is an oximeter? The device checks the oxygen level in the blood and can help detect early signs of a deterioration in health.

This initiative comes as another safe measure in detecting early signs of COVID-19 and helping to prevent the spread of the virus. With more and more dangerous COVID-19 variants emerging, the oximeter will help with early detection as the virus can cause blood oxygen levels to drop to dangerously low levels, even when you have no other symptoms.

To use the oximeter, simply place it around your fingertip and press a button to activate the device. A few seconds are needed for the blood oxygen level reading to stabilise. Two numbers will be displayed - the blood oxygen level and pulse rate. Your blood oxygen level should fall between 95-100% to be considered healthy, while levels of 90-94% are considered low. Those with low blood oxygen levels may need supplemental oxygen and are advised to consult a doctor. Blood oxygen levels below 90% are considered dangerously low, and you should seek out urgent treatment immediately.

However, before you panic, low blood oxygen levels can be caused by various other external conditions and complications, hence a low level does not immediately indicate signs of COVID-19. Should you find low blood oxygen levels, please take a COVID-19 test to be sure of your diagnosis. Furthermore, the oximeter can produce inaccurate results, due to improper use or nail varnish. To ensure an accurate reading, make sure your hands are still during the reading.

Families can start collecting the devices from July 5 to Aug 5 at more than 300 FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Giant, Cold Storage, Watsons, Unity and Guardian outlets. Simply present the leaflet during collection, which will be distributed via letterboxes from June 28 to July 3. Once again, there is no need to rush- there will be sufficient oximeters for every single household. Get yours when you can!


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