With emergency rooms overflowing at hospitals across California, many people are trying to manage their COVID-19 infections at home with a device that can be found in most pharmacies.
The device, called a pulse oximeter, is placed on your finger to determine your oxygen saturation level.
Dr. Anthony Cardillo, an ER specialist and CEO of Mend Urgent Care in Los Angeles, says the oxygenation level in the blood of an average person is anywhere from 95 to 100%.
"Under normal circumstances, if it dropped down to 90-92, we got concerned. With COVID patients, we've seen them drop into the low 80s.. That's critically low. And for critically ill patients we're seeing 65-70%. These are levels that we never would've even imagined before COVID," Cardillo said.
Once a person's oxygen saturation levels dip below 90%, he says that's when doctors get worried and will hospitalize that individual.
"So we send people home with these or we have people purchase them to keep track of their own oxygen level and report to their clinicians what their numbers are... If it drops too low, we can get them back to the ER, get chest X-rays and possibly admitted to the hospital or further treatment," Cardillo added.
Pulse oximeters can usually be found for purchase on Amazon, or at stores like CVS and Rite Aid.
Watch the above video for the full interview with Dr. Cardillo.