Doctor renews appeal for home oxygen probes

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Doctor renews appeal for home oxygen probes

'We're anticipating a second wave ... As the lockdown eases and the virus is still in our environment, there will be a risk that it will be passed on'

Dr Sharon Raymond
Dr Sharon Raymond

A Jewish doctor has renewed her appeal for oxygen monitors to be delivered across homes in London, as countries around the world move towards easing restrictions.

Home oxygen monitors, which can be clipped onto a fingertip to measure oxygen saturation levels, can help determine whether urgent emergency medical help is needed or whether patients are well enough to stay at home, Dr Sharon Raymond said.

The GP and lead in unscheduled care, whose petition on garnered over 514 signatures, warned against the risks of a “second wave” of cases should social distancing restrictions be lifted in the UK.

The UK lockdown has been extended for a further three weeks through to 7 May when a review will take place. Meanwhile, France and Spain announced this week that social distancing restrictions will be partially relaxed next month.

“We’re anticipating a second wave. I hope I’m wrong, I hope everyone is wrong, but obviously as the lockdown eases and the virus is still in our environment, there will be a risk that it will be passed on,” Dr Raymond said on Wednesday.

Medical professionals working remotely have “got very little tools at our disposal that we would have usually have in a clinic”, she said.”The probe is absolutely crucial because it will detect before the patient or the doctor realises that the oxygen levels are dropping and therefore more urgent or event emergency care is needed.”

“We need to be picking up these patients as early as possible and not wait for the deterioration to happen,” she added.

She called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to invest in home oxygen monitors, particularly for “patients who are very vulnerable and who are being shielded, and also those individuals who’ve already started to get Covid symptoms and have spoken to their GP but not gotten into hospital and need ongoing monitoring.”

She is leading a team of five mainly Jewish volunteers, which has raised £96,362  on the crowdfunding website Just Giving  to purchase specialist equipment for the NHS during the covid-19 pandemic.

So far, the team have procured and delivered nearly 20,000 items of Personal Protective Equipment and medical equipment to hospitals, GP surgeries, ambulated services, care homes and homeless shelters in the UK.

“That’s over 10,000 masks, visors, medical scrubs that were handmade in the UK by volunteers, over a thousand thermometers and oxygen saturation probes,” she said.

Jewish Care and Hatzola were among the beneficiaries in the community and beyond, she revealed.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related fatalities rose to 356 among UK Jews as of Tuesday, up from 352 on Monday, as the national death toll continues to climb.

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