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PPCR provides pulse oximeters in Pune for enhanced screening 

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PPCR will be facilitating Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and COVID Hospitals in Pune

Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR), a volunteer group to support the availability of critical care items for hospitals as well as support government in its efforts to contain the pandemic, will provide 1000 pulse oximeters for testing. As oxygen levels in blood emerge as key to detecting COVID-19, PPCR will be facilitating Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and COVID Hospitals in Pune with pulse oximeters to expedite the detection and severity of coronavirus cases in the region. 

Pulse oximeter is a small electronic device that clips onto a fingertip to indirectly measure the oxygen saturation of patient’s blood. They can be attached to your fingers, forehead, nose, foot, ears or toes and can be used effectively for door-to-door screening as well as in hospitals to identify critical cases as it has been observed that COVID-19 patients tend to have lower blood oxygen levels. Though these tests are not confirmatory tests, they may help in segregating the ones with lower blood oxygen levels, i.e., below 93 per cent, who can then be taken for further testing. 

Speaking about the same, Sudhir Mehta, Lead & Coordinator, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR), highlighted, “With more that 70 per cent cases being asymptomatic, it is vital that we escalate door-to-door screening process in the city to contain the spread. Pulse oximeter is one smart way to this effectively, without over-utilising the limited testing kits that we have. Also, given the limitations of our healthcare infrastructure, it is critical to segregate the critical patients in our hospitals and quarantine centers to decrease mortality rate and prolonged illness.”

“By bringing in Pulse Oximeters, we look forward to providing some relief to our frontline healthcare workers, local municipal corporations and State Government by using our resources effectively,” he said.

Pulse oximeter surveys have already begun in densely populated areas of Wagholi Gram Panchayat. 

On receiving the Pulse Oximeters,  Naval Kishore Ram, District Collector and District Magistrate, Pune, highlighted, “Through these pulse oximeters, our team will be able to screen the citizens at their home as well as our quarantine centres to identify the severe cases. The suspects can then be taken for further screening, tests and further necessary actions. With most of the patients not knowing that they are infected and criticality of the situation, this is a welcome move by Pune Platform for COVID-19 response team to facilitate the availability of these devices. 

Highlighting the importance of pulse oximeters, Dr Vijay Natarajan, CEO, Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Center (SUHRC), said, “Given that the COVID-19  virus predominantly affects the lungs, the single most important parameter that needs to be monitored is the adequacy of oxygen in the blood. Measuring the oxygen saturation is easily achieved by using the pulse oximeter which only needs to be clipped on a finger. Frequent measurements of the oxygen levels can ensure early detection of any deterioration in the patient’s condition. This will help us save lives by achieving early intervention.”

PPCR, supported by Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), has so far provided 35 ventilators, 14,375 PPE Kits, 6 Lakh HCQ Tablets, 66,500 masks, 1000 face shields, 29,000 disinfectants to various government and private hospitals in Pune, including, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Ruby Hall Clinic, Sassoon Hospital,  BJ Medical College, Aundh Hospital, Naidu Hospital, Jehangir Hospital, Joshi Hospital, EnT Association, Tanmay Hospital, Symbiosis Hospital, Bharati Hospital, Sahyadri Hospital, Janakalyan Hospital, AFMC-Pune, Pune Cantonment Hospital. 

PPCR also launched COVID-Madat, a telemedicine helpline for people to tele-screen themselves for COVID-related symptoms, in association with The National Health Mission Maharashtra and Maharashtra State Innovation Society. PPCR has distributed 961,200 meals to address the immediate food needs of daily wage workers and micro business owners who are rendered out of job because of the current situation. More than 3,498 units of blood has been collected through PPCR’s blood donation drives conducted across Maharashtra.

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