The World Health Organization says that in some critical cases, the lack of oxygen in the blood leads to death. When oxygen levels drop due to a disease such as Covid-19, the cells in the body do not get enough oxygen to perform their normal functions, and if the level of oxygen remains low for a long time, Due to lack of treatment or others, organs begin to fail; In severe cases, lack of oxygen may cause death.
This is what was discussed in an episode of the program (With Al-Hakim) on Al-Jazeera Mubasher with Dr. Hassan Al-Sawaf, a consultant in chest diseases and intensive care, who explained that among the effects of Covid-19 on the respiratory system are infections that affect the respiratory system and fibrosis-like infiltrates in the lung that reduce the exchange of oxygen In the lung and limit the work of the lungs, in addition to pulmonary clots, which are clots that block the lung arteries and reduce the delivery and exchange of oxygen throughout the body, and infection with the Corona virus also leads to some mild cases of fluid accumulation around the lung.
When does the patient’s life become threatened due to lack of oxygen?
Dr. Al-Sawaf answered this question by saying, “The oxygen level is an important sign of the body’s functioning, and the oxygen saturation level of 95% represents the normal range for most healthy individuals, while the 92% level indicates possible hypoxia, or lack of oxygen that reaches the tissues of the body. But when the oxygen level begins to reach 80%, the dangerous stage begins, and the patient usually needs external oxygen support, and if the percentage drops below that, he must immediately go to the hospital.”
With the occurrence of cases of lack of oxygen due to Corona, as well as the overcrowding of some hospitals, many have resorted to helping their families at home, using oxygen cylinders, which require indicative steps to deal with them so as not to turn into a harmful machine or a time bomb, which may lead to ominous risks, including infection with fungi, especially black fungus.
What are the most important steps in dealing with oxygen therapy at home?
The guest of an episode with Al-Hakim Dr. Al-Sawaf explained some of the basic and important points in the event of using oxygen therapy at home:
- Always make sure that the oxygen cylinders are filled with gas and monitor the meter to avoid the patient being cut off from oxygen and putting him in a critical condition in case he runs out of oxygen.
- Ensure the cleanliness of the device and the cleanliness of humidifiers, air conditioners, vaporizers and the environment surrounding the patient in general to avoid the spread of black fungus.
- Do not smoke near oxygen devices and stay away from open flames, such as matches, cigarette lighters and burning tobacco.
- Stay 5 feet away from sources of heat, including gas stoves, candles, lighted space heaters, and electric or gas heaters.
- Do not use flammable products such as cleaning fluid, paint thinner and aerosol sprays.
- Keep oxygen containers upright or attached to a fixed object so that they do not tip over.
- Avoid applying products that contain oil, grease or petroleum. This also applies to creams and ointments such as Vaseline on the face or upper chest of the patient.
- Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby or inform the fire department that you have an oxygen machine at home.
- Tell the power company if you use an oxygen concentrator so you can get priority service in the event of a power outage.
How to measure the oxygen level
Warning signs of low oxygen include difficulty breathing, confusion, difficulty waking up, and blue lips or acupuncture. Adults may have chest pain that does not go away. Children may have congested nostrils, snoring, or not being able to drink or eat.
There are two simple ways to measure the oxygen level:
- Have a friend or family member watch you for a minute while you are not paying attention to your breathing, and if you are breathing 23 breaths a minute, you should call your doctor immediately.
- Use a pulse oximeter.
What do you do when the oxygen level is low?
Therapeutic protocols that help solve the problem of low oxygen level in the body include doing the self-recessed position that was shown in the program with Al-Hakim and includes lying in the prone position for a maximum of 30 to 120 minutes, then lying on the left side, then lying on the right side, then sitting upright As shown in the video.
Use of oxygen concentrators Experts recommend that oxygen therapy should only be used in the presence of a health care provider but may be used in emergency situations, while seeking medical care or while waiting.