Sheen Surgery

Sheen Lane Health Centre, Sheen Lane, East Sheen, London, SW14 8LP

Telephone: 020 8876 4086

The surgery is currently open

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Covid – Pulse Oximetry and Managing Covid at Home

Pulse Oximetry and Managing your Covid Symptoms at Home


You have been given a Pulse Oximeter device to measure your Oxygen levels and your pulse. Please follow the instructions for using the device and have the readings handy if you need to contact your GP. At the bottom of this document you will also find information about how to get medical advice if you deteriorate or if you need advice outside of Practice opening hours.


How to use a pulse oximeter:


  • Sit upright for at least 1 minute
  • Ensure hands are warm
  • Rest your hand on a flat surface (pillow, table or thigh)
  • Place the pulse oximeter on your finger for at least 2 minutes and take a reading
  • Perform a 2nd reading after standing up and sitting down repeatedly for as long as you can manage (but for no longer than 1 minute). Do not do this if your baseline sats are <96% at rest
  • Check your saturations using the pulse oximeter 4 times a day (morning, afternoon and evening, or if feeling unwell or short of breath) and keep a record of the readings – we will ask you for these on your follow up phone call.
  • If readings fall below 95 you should contact your practice immediately.


This will allow you to take readings of your pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation at home, and provide this information to the Doctor or Nurse when you speak to them by phone.


Once we are happy that your condition is improving, we will need you to return it. Please bring the pulse oximeter back to the Surgery. We only have a limited supply of these and any delays may affect the care we can provide to other patients.


What can I do to help my recovery?

  • Treat any fever with paracetamol.
  • Drink plenty of fluids because this will keep your kidneys functioning well.
  • Follow the government advice on self-isolation for yourself and those in your household ;
  • Follow the Doctors advice on stopping certain medicines, if you are advised to do so.
  • Stay in touch regularly with family and friends by phone so they can also check on your progress.


When to seek further help:


Most people will recover within 7-10 days. During this time you may experience fever, cough, headache, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat and/or diarrhoea, as well as some other less common symptoms. Symptoms such as a dry cough and fatigue may persist for longer than your isolation period. You should contact your GP if you are still experiencing symptoms by 12 weeks after the onset of your illness, or sooner if these symptoms seem to be increasing in severity.


Seek Medical Advice more urgently if you are experiencing a worsening of symptoms;


  • Increasing shortness of breath – if you have difficulty speaking in sentences or moving around inside your home
  • High fever that is not responding to paracetamol or not settling after 7 days
  • If you are too unwell to drink fluids regularly or are not passing urine regularly
  • You are increasingly drowsy or lethargic
  • You develop chest pain or begin coughing up blood


In an emergency, if you have severe breathing difficulties, severe chest pain, are unable to pass urine or you begin coughing up blood, phone 999 and inform the operator about the risk of Coronavirus. For other Medical Advice Monday to Friday phone your GP Surgery during opening hours or 111 out of hours. For Medical Advice at weekends phone the Extended GP Service between 8am and 8pm on 0333 332 6570 or 111 after 8pm. If you have been loaned a pulse oximeter by your GP Practice for use during your Covid-19 infection, please have the readings from the Oximeter to hand when seeking any further Medical Advice.


If you have had Covid 19 and would like further information regarding post covid recovery please see the useful NHS England link below:

Post Covid information