Hospitals are reporting patients arriving with oxygen levels so low, they should be on the brink of organ failure. However, they are arriving conscious, talkative, and even in good spirits, not gasping for breath as they should be.
A healthy person would be expected to have an oxygen saturation of at least 95%. At levels below 90%, the brain may not get sufficient oxygen. As levels drop into the low 80s or below, the danger of damage to vital organs rises.
Doctors are reporting new Covid-19 patients with oxygen percentage levels in the 80s or 70s, with some drastic cases below 50%.
Doctors are calling these patients “happy hypoxemics.”
As a result, some doctors are delaying intubation and ventilators and opting for less invasive measures to boost oxygen levels such as high-flow nasal cannulas.