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Living Guide

This living document is produced by the GP medical directors of Londonwide LMCs in collaboration with clinical colleagues within the NHS system in London to guide London’s GP practices to best help our patients.
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Do I need an O2 saturation to complete the assessment? How do I obtain the reading?

Key messages

  • An O2 saturation test is only required if it may change management. However, be aware that a normal respiratory rate may be falsely reassuring as there are increasing numbers of anecdotal reports of patients without dyspnea who on testing are severely hypoxic.
  • The Roth score should NOT be used. It has resulted in false reassurance and critical events.
  • An O2 sats could be obtained through delivery models which minimise face to face exposure:
    1. Pulse oximeters delivered to a patient for ongoing monitoring.
    2. ‘Drive through’ pulse oximetry.
    3. ‘Home visiting’ pulse oximetry.

Please click here for our guide to using pulse oximeters during the Covid-19 pandemic which includes a patient action plan for oxygen saturation monitoring template letter.

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