4 Tips to Avoid Happy Hypoxia or Silent Hypoxia
What is Happy Hypoxia (Silent Hypoxia)?
When blood oxygen level is too low compared to the average level of a healthy person, the body may have difficulty delivering oxygen to all organs in the body. If blood oxygen levels continue to fall, the organs may shut down, and the issue becomes life threatening. This condition is known as hypoxemia or happy hypoxia.
Blood oxygen levels have been found to be very low in some COVID-19 patients. In fact, most of these patients do not even notice their condition. In consequence, they experience sudden cardiac death. So, how can we avoid these scenarios?
1. 6 Minutes Walk Test (6MWT)
The doctors proposed this 6MWT to self-detect the Covid-19 infection, especially for quarantined patients at home. It is a measure of functional status or fitness, a simple measure of aerobic exercise capacity. During this test, you walk at your normal pace for six minutes. This test can be used to monitor your response to treatments for heart, lung and other health problems.
For this, it’s best that a patient first monitors their oxygen level, then takes a walk inside the room for six minutes and again checks their oxygen saturation. If the O2 level falls below 95%, take that as an alarm signal.
Simple try 6 Minutes Walking Test at home.
2. Look out for signature symptoms of hypoxia
There are several symptoms that can indicate you having happy hypoxia. The signature symptoms of having happy hypoxia are feeling “drunk” and changes of skin colours. In the event you happen to notice one of these symptoms, you must seek for doctor’s assistance to get diagnoses and treatment at once.
3. Arterial Blood Gas test (ABG test)
ABG test is conducted where a needle is used to take a blood sample from your artery to measure the levels of oxygen in your blood. This test will find out how well your lungs are able to move oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. This test is usually performed only in the hospital to determine the management of acutely ill patients.
4. Pulse oximeter
It is an invasive and portable clip-on device that will check your oxygen level easily by placing it into your finger. It’s very easy. Find out more about how a pulse oximeter can eventually save your lifes!
So, is pulse oximeter accurate in detecting Covid-19?
Some Covid-19 patients have been known to have significantly reduced pulse oximetry readings, yet no signs of respiratory issues such as shortness of breath. In this case, pulse oximeters can be helpful in detecting a change in your oxygen saturation level that would otherwise go unnoticed. Those who test positive for Covid-19, but have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalisation, may also be asked to self-monitor their oxygen saturation levels to ensure their health condition is stable.