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SpO2 oxygen meter stopped selling online in UK

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A device that measures SpO2. Photo: Shutterstock

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SpO2 meter business boomed because many people wanted to monitor blood oxygen levels while treating at home. “Silent hypoxia” is often a common side effect of COVID-19.

The Guardian (UK) on March 26 reported that online retailers Amazon, eBay and Wish had removed some SpO2 measuring devices from their product categories after a consumer organization found that these products had harmful effects. error.

Some devices are not legal for sale in the UK because they do not have the Kitemark quality mark or claim to have been approved by the National Health Service (NHS). The UK Department of Health (DHSC) said: “The NHS does not approve or endorse any medical devices, including SpO2 meters”.

Page “Which?” According to the British Consumer Association, 11 SpO2 measuring devices on e-commerce sites do not comply with UK and European Union (EU) laws. Some SpO2 meters even cost less than £1.

One example is the £12.99 Bee Smart SpO2 meter on Amazon’s website with no contact details for the device’s manufacturer. The Bee Smart was missing the four-digit code – an indication that it had been assessed by a certification body. This is a mandatory code for all medical devices before they are sold in the UK. After receiving the warning, both Amazon, eBay and Wish stopped selling these products.

Professor Martin Marshall at the Royal College of General Practitioners said: “SpO2 meters are very useful for patients to self-monitor their blood oxygen levels. The SpO2 meter is also a key device during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping medical professionals treat patients with COVID-19 or post-COVID symptoms. SpO2 meters are easy to use, affordable, and can impact a patient’s treatment plan. Therefore, it is important that if patients purchase this device, they ensure that the products are certified from trusted retailers. It is the retailers themselves that need to make sure they only sell certified products to make sure the products are safe to use and provide accurate readings.”

The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in March the rate of COVID-19 in the UK stood at 1 in 16 people as the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron spread rapidly. All parts of the UK, except Northern Ireland, saw an increase in the rate of new cases, especially in Scotland, where the rate of COVID-19 hit a new record at 1 in 11 people.

Experts say the higher number of new cases means hospitalizations from COVID-19 will also increase, even though vaccines help prevent many serious cases. England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, earlier this week said that although COVID-19 is putting pressure on the NHS, the high rate of transmission of the virus is not causing many intensive care cases and deaths. People aged 75 and over and immunocompromised people in the UK can now apply for a second booster shot to increase protection against COVID-19.

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