New Delhi | Jagran Health Desk: Ever since the second wave hit the country, oxygen deprivation has become the biggest concern in COVID-19 patients. People, who are suffering from moderate and severe infection, tend to experience shortness of breathe making the case complicated. To cure this, oxygen therapy is the only way to boost the oxygen level. And as patients are getting cured at home due to a shortage of hospital beds, not many know for how long patients actually need oxygen support. Also, do you know when is the right time to use the oxygen therapy? Don't worry, here we are to clear your confusion regarding oxygen therapy.

Why does the COVID-19 patient require supplement oxygen?

COVID-19 is a predominantly respiratory virus that causes widespread inflammation in the organs. Inflammation in the respiratory tract and lungs can reduce the flow of oxygenated blood in the body, making patients experience shortness of breath or a dip in saturation levels. Patients who are suffering from low oxygen level can also, experience the below symptoms:

-Chest pain, congestion
-Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing well
-Weakness, fatigue
-Inability to complete sentences
-Being unable to stand at a stretch
-Looking pale, discolouration of the face and the body
- Bluish tint on the lips

When is oxygen therapy required?

The patient needs immediate attention when the SP02 levels drop below 93 per cent or the condition of the patient is getting severe. If your saturation level is between 94 to 99 per cent, then there is no need for oxygen support. According to the health experts, oxygen therapy is also used, in patients who are suffering from the below symptoms:

- Pneumonia/ acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Dyspnea
- Hypoxia

How much oxygen do COVID-19 patients require?

According to health experts, the requirement for oxygen depends on the severity of the infection or saturation level. Generally, patients require oxygen flow of 5L/min, however, some patients are required lesser oxygen flow, that is, 2-3L/min. It is said, moderate and severe cases patients should aim at achieving 92-96 per cent of SP02 level at room air.

How long COVID-19 patients need oxygen support?

It depends on the severity of the patient, if he/she is experiencing a dip in saturation level even after the use of external support, then they require immediate hospitalisation. If the patient is responding with the oxygen therapy at home and their saturation level is increasing, then consult the doctor on when to remove the external support.

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv