Detecting Corona Early – How It Can Work
For many of us, it has become an almost annoying topic. The same news and articles everywhere. It’s all about Corona. The numbers are rising again worldwide and more and more restrictions are being re-established. Even if we don’t want to hear it any more and would like to finish with the topic, here’s another article.
Corona or a simple flu?
The warm days are over and the cold goes under our skin again. With the end of daylight saving time, the flu season begins as every year. More and more people are starting to cough us. Nothing abnormal in itself, wouldn’t there be the pandemic.
So some of you will wonder, after the first coughing fits, whether it’s a simple flu or corona. Unfortunately, this question is not so easy to answer. Like a flu, infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus can run almost without discomfort. In addition, a variety of symptoms can occur.
The topic of corona or flu is described in an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Our article is also based on this article. However, we would like to look more at the statement of Prof. Dr. med. Clemens Wendtner. In the article of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he pointed out a widespread phenomenon.
The Corona Phenomenon – “Silent Hypoxia”
Prof. Wendtner was the first German doctor to treat a COVID-19 case. Together with his team, he has cared for more than a thousand COVID-19 sufferers. In the course of his work, he seems to have noticed a phenomenon that can only be observed in connection with COVID-19.
We are talking about a “Silent Hypoxia”. However, Prof. Wendtner is not the only physician to observe this phenomenon. In the US, emergency physicians reported this phenomenon early on. Dr. Levitan from New York wrote and published an article in April about his findings on this phenomenon.
What is a silent hypoxia?
A silent hypoxia is a normal hypoxia at the end of the day. In hypoxia, oxygen saturation in the body is insufficient. Oxygen, however, is vital for the energy production in the cells, the so-called cell respiration – without sufficient oxygen supply, the cells are damaged. The different tissues in the body are different sensitive to hypoxia. The brain is particularly sensitive – an acute lack of oxygen causes brain cells to die after just a few minutes and then quickly leads to irreparable brain damage.
Normally, hypoxia is noticeable quite quickly. The skin can turn bluish (cyanosis), but also headaches, palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness are signs of oxygen undersupply.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with so-called silent hypoxia. Although the oxygen saturation of those affected drops sharply, they do not experience any of the symptoms mentioned.
Dr. Chris Landon also speaks of this phenomenon and even calls it “Happy Hypoxia”. In a video, he tells that his patients, with very low oxygen saturation, are still sitting in bed playing cards.
How can I detect hypoxia at an early stage?
As we now know, oxygen saturation drops in hypoxia. I can use oximetry to measure my oxygen saturation in the blood. There are a variety of devices that can measure oxygen saturation – finger clips, smartwatches, smart rings and bracelets.
The problem with most of these devices is that they do not measure continuously. Some because you just can’t and don’t want to wear them all day and others because otherwise they would have problems with their battery capacity. These devices are usually not bad and serve their purpose. Unfortunately, its purpose is not to detect hypoxia in time.
If, as on the graph below, one only sometimes measures oxygen saturation, there may also be incorrect assessments.
Oxygen saturation in hypoxia may drop very quickly, and if you don’t want to miss this drop, you can’t avoid continuous measurement.
Some clinical devices are perfect for detecting hypoxia. They measure continuously and may even have a nice color display on which I can read the values. All well and good, but usually these devices look like this:
Not very sexy. And it is certainly not comfortable to wear with the cable and the large case on the wrist.
But there is still an alternative. It is a smart ring, which promises a high wearing comfort and a certain inconspicuousness. Despite its small size, the CIRCUL ring is able to continuously measure the pulse and oxygen saturation. And by continuous I mean 100 times per second. However, the ring has a shortcoming… its price. It costs a proud 300€ which makes some of you now probably fold down the chin drawer. On the other hand, this chunky thing on the wrist also costs 350€… Perhaps this is simply the price of continuous oxygen measurement. And if we’re honest, what’s the amount of money spent on a lifetime?
Related to this topic:
Whether corona or flu, you should have a continuous look at your own health anyway. Vital signs such as our pulse, oxygen saturation and blood pressure indicate a wide range of health problems at an early stage. Our body itself is therefore already an early warning system, but we just need technical support in order to be able to understand this.
Finally, I do not want to say that a €300 ring is not the only option. You can also buy a finger clip for 50€ and hang it on your finger all the time. However, one should then also have the discipline to use it, and to use it correctly. So measure at least 4-6 times per day.
If you do not want to take the risk of misjudgmentdescribed above, or if you want to take the risk of misjudgments described above, or if you want to take the risk of misjudgments that is too strenuous and lack the discipline, you are better advised with the CIRCUL ring, for example.
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