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Pharmacies see shortage in pulse oximeters

Experts say the rush is taking the product away from those who need them.
Pulse Oximeters are in high demand as customers buy the devices as COVID-19 affects the...
Pulse Oximeters are in high demand as customers buy the devices as COVID-19 affects the respiratory system.(Yale Medicine)
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 8:21 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Some pharmacies are seeing an uptick in people rushing to buy one item in particular: a pulse oximeter.

A pulse oximeter is a small device that measures the level of oxygen in the blood. Pharmacy owners say they usually sell one every few months, but when the pandemic started, that changed.

Because COVID-19 affects the respiratory system, customers started buying a pulse oximeter.

However, experts say that this rush is taking the product away from those who need them.

“If you are a patient who has chronic lung condition and need to check oxygen saturation on a regular basis because you are susceptible to requiring oxygen or patients who go into the hospital frequently for lung conditions, then you should have a pulse oximeter,” said pulmonologist Dr. Luis Pena-Hernandez.

Experts say the best advice they can give is to ask your doctor if you need one.

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