‘Buy only approved oximeters’


The right way: Pharmacist Cheng Wye Mun checking her oxygen level by using an oximeter in Rawang. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians seeking to buy pulse oximeters for Covid-19 home healthcare measures should only get those certified by the Medical Device Authority (MDA), say pharmacists.

While the gadget is sold online, Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang noted that any instrument that measures medical parameters must be registered with the MDA.

Based on feedback from its members, he said there has been an increase in sales and enquiries over pulse oximeters, which measures the quantity of oxygen in the blood.

Sales were particularly strong in the middle of April and May but have started slowing down this month.

Pharmacists said that the public should only buy from authorised sellers as this would give users post-purchase service, direct counselling on how to use the device, as well as ensure the most accurate reading.

As not all households can afford to purchase pulse oximeters, some organisations are providing this device for free to help Covid-19 patients quarantining at home monitor their health.

The Health Ministry had recently noted that “Happy Hypoxia” was among the factors that saw a rise in the number of hospitalised Category 4 and 5 Covid-19 patients early last month.

In cases of Happy Hypoxia, patients would have a low level of oxygen as shown on the monitor, but they do not experience breathing difficulties.

A normal reading is between 95% and 100%, with anything below that considered as low.

According to the Health Ministry in a series of videos uploaded to its Facebook page, among the symptoms of the condition or when oxygen levels were less than 91% were breathing difficulties, headaches, dizziness, skin turning bluish, and cold palms.

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