Maximum retail price for Pulse Oximeters | Sunday Observer

Maximum retail price for Pulse Oximeters

5 September, 2021

The Government imposed a maximum retail price for Pulse Oximeters last week after complaints that the drug mafia has hiked prices with the introduction of quarantine and isolation of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic Covid-19 patients at home.

The Government clamped a maximum retail price for a regular pulse Oximeter of Rs.3,000 and warned the people to be wary of fake products in the market.

The social media was swarmed with news of sub-standard and highly priced Oximeters as people rushed to pharmacies to buy the vital equipment. The pandemic has increased the use of the product, which estimates blood oxygen levels, especially in the backdrop of the highly virulent Delta variant spreading in the country at an alarming rate during the past few weeks.

As a solution to curb fatalities and positive cases, the Government accelerated the state inoculation drive. It was announced that over 75 percent of the above 30 years have been vaccinated by last week. The vaccination of youth between 20 to 29 years also began on Thursday from the Hambantota District, the Government said.

Deputy Director General of the Health Ministry’s Bio Medical Engineering Services Unit S.A.J.Karunathilake who is the authority on Pulse Oximeters and who oversees testing and recommending of this equipment to state hospitals, said people should test the following before making a purchase at the Pharmacy. He said substandard Oximeters have been received as donations to state hospitals and this was an issue.

How to identify an authentic Pulse Oximeter

*Insert a pen or a pencil to the Oximeter, and it should not indicate a reading (number).

*The display must have digits, bar graph and a wave sign.

*When you insert the finger and remove it, the display must show ‘finger out’.

*Insert a finger to the Oximeter and tie a string or a plastic band around the finger, the reading/number must disappear.

How to use a Pulse Oximeter

*The patient must relax in one place for a few minutes before using an Oximeter.

*The inserted finger must not be taken out immediately after the numbers appear.

*The indicated reading could be wrong if the patient has nail colour or fake-nails.

*Must not shake the finger when taking a reading, that could alter the reading.

*A person with dark/think skin could get inaccurate reading on a regular Oximeter.

(The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing patients and health care providers that although pulse oximetry is useful for estimating blood oxygen levels, Pulse Oximeters have limitations and a risk of inaccuracy under certain circumstances that should be considered.)