22 Oct 2021

Shortage of pulse oximeters demonstrates wider issues: GPs

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 22 October 2021
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Photo: healthline.com

The College of GPs says a nationwide shortage of pulseoximeters is an example of the need for a clear pathway on how community covid cases should be managed. Pulseoximeters measure the amount of oxygen in the blood and, while inexpensive, are an important piece of equipment for doctors managing covid patients who are isolating at home. Some pharmacies and online retailers are running low on the devices. College of GP's Medical director, Dr Bryan Betty, says the Ministry of Health and some GP practices around the country have been stockpiling pulseoximeters, although it is not know how many have been accumulated.He says GPs are very concerned that the country is reaching a tipping point where covid will become endemic in the community, but there are no guidelines yet on how those patients should be cared for.