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Effect of early oxygen therapy in patients with COVID-19
January 15, 2021

    Richard Levitan, MD, an emergency doctor at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, published an editorial in The New York Times on April 20. He described his experience of suffering from silent hypoxia with Covid-19 patients. He said he had seen patients whose lungs were filled with fluid or pus, but they didn’t have difficulty breathing until the day they arrived at the hospital. It is this silent influence that makes the virus so fearful.

    Judging from this, the timing of oxygen therapy, which has been rarely mentioned in the current literature, has a great impact on symptom relief of hypoxia and seeking medical intervention, especially in the case of limited medical resources.

    To prevent silent hypoxia, we must first prevent the lung injury caused by hypoxia. Dr. Patel critical care pulmonology expert believes that medical staff can use oxygen monitoring devices such as Pulse Oximeter Monitor to help patients detect blood oxygen saturation. Once the index is abnormal, people can seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

    For patients, oxygen therapy can start at a flow rate of 5L / min. Target oxygen saturation of non-pregnant adult patients ≥ 90%, the pulse oxygen saturation of pregnant patients ≥ 92-95%, and the pulse oxygen saturation of critically ill patients with severe respiratory distress, shock, or coma ≥ 94%. If standard oxygen therapy fails, consider mechanical ventilation; high flow nasal catheter oxygen or noninvasive ventilation (e.g., bi-level positive airway pressure mode) may also be used. If there is no improvement within 1 hour after noninvasive mechanical ventilation, invasive mechanical ventilation should be used.

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