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Online retailers stop selling some blood oxygen monitors after investigation

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Which? says some of the devices sold by Amazon, eBay and Wish were not legally fit to be sold

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

Online marketplaces have withdrawn a number of pulse oxygen testing devices known as oximeters from sale after being alerted to flaws identified by the consumer organization Which?

Pulse oximeters have surged in popularity as a result of Covid, with millions of people keeping one at home so they can quickly assess whether their blood oxygen level has dropped worryingly, a condition known as “silent hypoxia,” which it is a common side. disease effect.

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

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

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

Which? She said that 11 of the cheap pulse oximeters he bought from those websites did not comply with UK and European Union laws when he closely examined them. Some cost as little as 99p. She urged consumers to look for properly approved devices in the “lottery” to select the correct one.

“It is very worrying that our investigation has found these medical devices for sale without the required safety markings or blatantly claiming to be NHS approved, with the larger online marketplaces failing to pick up on these red flags,” he said. Natalie Hitchens, the group’s responsible consumer of home products and services.

For example, the £12.99 Bee Smart pulse oximeter, bought from Amazon, did not contain any contact details of who had made it or a UK/EU representative.

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 pulled the items from sale after being warned about them.

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

“However, while pulse oximeters are affordable and easy to use, they are medical devices that can have an impact on a patient’s health and treatment plan. So it’s important that if patients buy one, they make sure they buy verified products from trusted retailers, and that these retailers make sure they only sell verified products, to ensure the products are safe to use and provide accurate readings.” .

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