Centre recommends ‘6 minute walking test’ to check hypoxia in Covid patients

Taking to Twitter, the ministry of information and broadcasting said on Monday the walking test to check Hypoxia is recommended for asymptomatic, mild and moderate patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) who are being treated at home.
The walking test can be repeated every six to eight hours.(Unsplash. Representative image)
The walking test can be repeated every six to eight hours.(Unsplash. Representative image)
Published on Jun 14, 2021 12:22 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

The Centre on Monday recommended a ‘six minute walking test’ to check hypoxia in the human body. Hypoxia is a medical condition where enough quantities of oxygen do not make it to the tissues and cells. The common symptoms are shortness of breath, frequent coughs, wheezing, feeling of choking etc.

The ministry of information and broadcasting tweeted on Monday that the walking test to check Hypoxia is recommended for asymptomatic, mild and moderate patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) who are being treated at home.

Here are the steps which have to be followed during the test:

1. Record oxygen saturation using an Oximeter.

2. Walk around a room for six minutes continuously with the oximeter attached to the finger and observe the reading.

3. Record oxygen saturation soon after walking.

4. The test can be repeated every six to eight hours.

5. Consult a doctor if the saturation goes below 94 per cent or there is an absolute drop of 3-5 per cent. People should also consult a doctor if they feel unwell (lightheaded, short of breath) while performing the walking test or at the end of six minutes.

6. People older than 70 years, those with uncontrolled asthma and pregnant patients should avoid doing this test.

The Centre has time and again highlighted the importance of keeping oxygen levels in check. Amid the ongoing second wave of the pandemic in India and especially in the month of April, a major number of critically infected patients lost the battle to the viral disease as their oxygen levels dropped sharply. And due to an enormous spike in hospitalisations during this month, hospitals grappled with a severe shortage of the life saving gas and could only arrange limited supplies which lasted for a few hours.

In May, the Centre had alrecommended a deep breathing exercise which it said can help people in recovery after getting infected with Covid-19.

Apart from this, another exercise called self-proning, is extremely beneficial in patients with compromised breathing effort, especially when they are being treated in home isolation. However, it is only recommended when a patient faces difficulty in breathing and the oxygen saturation is below 94.

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Friday, December 03, 2021