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Ways you can monitor your health at home

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Ways you can monitor your health at home
It’s great to be able to monitor your own health at home, especially now when the NHS are focussed on dealing with the current pandemic.

By accurately monitoring your health it helps you to realise when you need help, even if you don’t want to be a bother. Don’t forget, the NHS are still here to help you in times of need. It’s also handy if you have a phone appointment with a doctor as you’ll be able to give them key information that they may need to better help you.

 

What kinds of home health monitors are available?

Pulse oximeters

You may have seen these mentioned in the news recently as doctors are trialling them with high-risk Covid patients. [1] These are small devices that fit on the finger and monitor your pulse and blood oxygen level. Very useful for those with Covid-19 as one of confusing symptoms with it can be ‘silent hypoxia’ where oxygen levels in the blood drop below normal levels without you noticing. [2]

A blood oxygen level of 95-100% is considered normal for most people. 

If yours is: 

  • Between 93-94% – contact NHS 111 for further advice
  • 92% or below – go to A&E or dial 999  [3]

This may vary slightly if you usually have a lower blood oxygen level. If in doubt, seek medical help.

See our full range of fingertip pulse oximeters here.

 

Blood pressure monitors

These are, as the name suggests, monitors you can use at home to check your blood pressure isn’t too high or too low. 

Home blood pressure monitors come in a variety of styles so you can find one that suits your needs, whether that’s one that goes around the upper arm or one that works from the wrist.

If you need help interpreting your blood pressure results, the NHS has a handy online tool you can put your results in to get an explanation. Find it here.

See our full range of blood pressure monitors here.

 

Thermometers

A common symptom of Covid-19 is a high temperature or fever. Sometimes it can be easy to tell without the help of a thermometer that you have a fever (you may have chills or sweating), other times it can be harder to tell. 

By checking your temperature, you can help to avoid spreading any viruses further as a high temperature indication will let you know to stay at home and look after yourself.

In adults, a high temperature is considered to be 38 degrees Celsius or more. [4]

Thermometers come in a variety of styles: in ear, infrared (where temperature can be taken at a distance), or traditional ones that are held under the tongue. Which you choose comes down to personal preference and what’s right for your needs.

It’s important if you have a high temperature or fever to stay at home and look after yourself.

See our full range of thermometers here.

 

Things to remember about home health monitors

They aren’t a replacement for medical care. If you’re experiencing symptoms that need urgent medical attention, like difficulty breathing, seek help.

It’s also very important to read and follow the instructions carefully, as you won’t get accurate readings if the monitor isn’t used correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55733527

[2] https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4151

[3] https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/12/C0719_COVID-Isolating-at-Home-Safety-Netting-Leaflet-Revised-FINAL-171220.pdf

[4] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fever-in-adults/


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