Online retailers stop sales of some blood oxygen monitors after investigation | Coronavirus

Amazon, eBay and Wish have stopped stocking certain monitors that allow people to track their blood oxygen levels after an investigation found they were unsuitable for sale.

Online marketplaces have removed a number of pulse oxygen testing devices called oximeters from sale after being alerted to faults identified by consumer organization Which?

Pulse oximeters have exploded in popularity in the wake of Covid, with millions of people keeping one at home so they can quickly assess if their blood oxygen level has dropped to a worrying level – a condition known as “silent hypoxia” – which is a common side-effect of the disease.

Some of the devices were not legally fit for sale in the UK, did not carry the Kitemark of CE quality or falsely claimed to have been approved by the NHS.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it would look into the unauthorized use of the health service’s iconic blue and white branding on devices. He clarified that “the NHS does not approve or endorse any medical device, including oximeters”.

“The department strictly controls NHS identity and takes the unauthorized use or adaptation of the NHS logo and the letters ‘NHS’ very seriously,” a DHSC spokesperson said.

Which? said 11 of the cheap pulse oximeters bought from these websites failed to comply with UK and EU law when he looked at them closely. Some cost as little as 99p. He urged consumers to look for properly approved devices in the “lottery” of picking the right one.

“It is very concerning that our investigation found these medical devices for sale without the required safety markings or brazenly claiming to be NHS approved, and the largest online marketplaces failed to detect these red flags,” said said Natalie Hitchens, the consumer. responsible for products and services for the group house.

For example, the £12.99 Bee Smart Pulse Oximeter, bought from Amazon, had no contact information on who made it or on a UK/US representative. EU.

It also lacked a four-digit code to show it had been assessed by a Notified Body, which is required of all medical devices before they go on sale in Britain.

Amazon, eBay and Wish removed the items from sale after being notified.

“Pulse oximeters can be useful devices for patients to self-monitor their blood oxygen levels, and they have been key equipment during the pandemic to help healthcare professionals manage patients with Covid or post-Covid syndrome to ensure they receive the appropriate treatment. said Professor Martin Marshall, President of the Royal College of GPs.

“However, even though pulse oximeters are affordable and easy to use, they are medical devices that can impact a patient’s health and treatment plan. So it’s important that if patients buy one, they make sure they’re buying verified products from trusted retailers – and those retailers make sure they only sell verified products – to make sure that the products are safe to use and provide accurate readings.

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