Q. Is my daughter's low SpO2 level indicative of COVID-19?

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 08, 2022

Hello doctor,

My child had a fever yesterday morning, and we gave her P 250 Suspension 60 ml (Paracetamol), and she was fine. But again, in the evening, she had a fever, and when we checked her oxygen saturation with our home oximeter, her oxygen level dropped to 84%, 90%, 92%, 93% for some time. Still, when her body temperature came down to an average level, her SpO2 also rose to a normal level.

So, I would like to know whether her low oxygen saturation is because of fever or there could be any other reasons. I think it may not be because of COVID-19, for she had a fever, nose block and runny, and a slight cough only yesterday morning and dipped in oxygen saturation level in the evening. Kindly explain what may be the causes of it.



Welcome to

I have read your concern and will help you out. Kindly share the following details so that I can guide you better;

1. Does she have a nose block, runny nose, or cough?

2. Is there any sign of fast breathing?

3. Is there any chest indrawing while breathing?

4. Is she taking feeds normally?

5. Is there any vomiting episode?

6. Can you count her breathing rate?

7. Have you done the COVID-19 test?

8. Are you applying the pulse oximeter probe correctly?

Please apply the pulse oximeter and allow the reading to stabilize before recording. Make sure the hands are at normal temperature. Do not move your hand while recording. Record the highest reading after around five seconds. Please measure the saturation in both hands. If the periphery of the hand is cold, reading will come inappropriately.

You can give her syrup Paracetamol every four to six hours for fever as advised. Fever usually does not cause this much fluctuation in the oxygen saturation. You should provide her with feeds and maintain adequate hydration. Take temperature measurement three times a day and check the oxygen saturation.

Please reply to the above questions and mention the oxygen saturation measured in both hands. You can visit your local pediatrician to assess her condition more appropriately.

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