Thursday, March 5, 2020


The US Centers for Disease Control now directs that ANYONE seeking treatment for FLU symptoms should be assessed in a Airborne Infection Isolation Room [AIIR] AND BE QUARANTINED UNTIL SYMPTOMS CLEAR.

"Patients who are not tested should remain home until 24 hours after improvement of symptoms and resolution of fever without fever reducing medications." 

If you didn't have coronavirus prior to visiting the Doctor's office, obviously CDC suspects you will have the virus after the visit. That fact is manifest obvious given that the quarantine applies to patients who did not rate having an actual coronavirus test.

The directions from CDC say that all patients with Flu like symptoms should be assessed in a Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR). Unless the AIIR patient assessment room is 100% sterilized between each and every patient visit, the probability is high that a nosocomial coronavirus infection will occur. It is this high probability of acquiring the COVID-19 infection at medical centers combined with the fact that many of the West Coast COVID-19 patients acquired their infections in health care settings which is the likely driver behind CDC's direction to quarantine.

It is for the above reasons we are avoiding all medical facilities unless we face life threatening symptoms. Based on the research data, the only suitable at home method of determining if one's cough and/or shortness of breath is life threatening is with an inexpensive over the counter blood oxygen meter.

Our deep dive into the research papers and FDA's medical device database indicates that the most accurate meters are made by "Beijing Choice" also known as "ChoiceMMed". ChoiceMMed makes prescription [Rx] oximeters and Over The Counter [OTC] oximeters, the data seems to indicate that the primary difference between the Rx models and the OTC models is labeling. Note, that the manufacturer is oft sold under many different labels.

These are the oximeter models (or equivalent) which we have purchased (We tested it on adults and children down to 3 years old) (smaller sized for kids, but also worked on adult fingers) (Only worked well on large adult fingers)

While we based our choices on models we expect to rival Rx models for accuracy down to 70% blood oxygen levels, the research studies indicate that the models they tested were accurate enough down to the 90% blood oxygen levels that OTC oximeters could be used to identify high risk pneumonia cases. Obviously, such a device in conjunction with telemedicine could be crucial in helping one avoid an unnecessary encounter with a possibly coronavirus infected health care facility.

"The purpose of our study was to clarify limitations of off-label use for low cost nonmedical use (NMU) pulse oximeters by primary care providers. These devices are widely marketed over the Internet and in drugstores but are not intended for medical use or reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Our study compared oxygen saturation (SpO2) in patients from 1 medical use (MU) pulse oximeter to 8 NMU pulse oximeters. Measured arterial oxygenation (SaO2) was compared with SpO2 when available. In patients who were normoxic (SpO2 ≥90%), all oximeters exhibited similar readings. This finding suggests that NMU pulse oximeters may be able to rule out hypoxemia in clinical settings." 


If you purchase any items through our Amazon link, we will get a "finder's fee". Those funds help us offset our own risk mitigations costs:

Please note that none of the above information is advice or a recommendation; we only describe the emergency risk mitigation actions we are taking and the detailed research basis for our actions. We cannot make risk mitigation decisions for you.

Links and Source Data:

Clinical Interpretation of Peripheral Pulse Oximeters Labeled “Not for Medical Use”

The Accuracy of 6 Inexpensive Pulse Oximeters

Oxygen Saturations Less than 92% Are Associated with Major Adverse Events in Outpatients with Pneumonia  (hat tip to "Ryan Amaral" for finding this research study)

FDA 510(k) Premarket Notification

Emergency Action Message: A Blood Oxygen Meter Can Save You From Quarantine Infection

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