Forum: Do more to educate the public on usefulness of an oximeter

A person selling an oximeter given out by Temasek Foundation on Carousell told The Straits Times that he felt the device was unnecessary (Oximeters given out for free being sold online, July 8).

He is not the first person whom I have come across who does not know the usefulness of an oximeter.

Over the past few days, I have heard DJs on local radio stations who also do not seem to know what an oximeter is and what it is used for.

Since 2014, my dad has been admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's accident and emergency department four times for heart attack, stroke and other non-Covid-19-related problems.

Each time he was admitted, the first piece of medical equipment that the A&E nurse used on him was the oximeter, even before using the blood pressure equipment.

The first time he was admitted, in 2014, was also the first time I had ever seen an oximeter. The nurse explained what it was, how it functioned and what its uses were.

Oximeters are important in emergency medicine and are also very useful for patients with respiratory or cardiac problems, or for diagnosis of some sleep disorders.

I think more should be done to educate the public on the usefulness of an oximeter, and how great it is to have one in each household in times of sudden and unpredictable medical crisis. It is not just a device used to detect silent pneumonia early in Covid-19.

Tay Wei Kiat

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