Knowing Your Body Could Save Your Life


Garmin customer Margo and her family discovered that the simple act of turning on your furnace can have a scary consequence — carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

As a nurse, Margo is trained to spot CO poisoning, but she says her Garmin vívosmart 4 fitness tracker* tipped her off that something was seriously wrong.

Margo’s vívosmart 4 was not only indicating abnormal heart rate readings, but the Pulse Ox sensor* also showed that her blood-oxygen saturation percentage was consistently in the low 80s at night.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Normal pulse oximeter readings usually range from 95 to 100 percent.”

This data, combined with flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath and other signs, told Margo it was time to see the doctor, who confirmed she and her family were experiencing CO poisoning.

Turning on your furnace seems harmless, but Captain Mike Hall of the Olathe, Kansas, fire department told us that they see more carbon monoxide-related incidents during cold months.

“Carbon monoxide can build up inside the home due to malfunctioning, improperly used or incorrectly vented fuel-burning appliances and breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide can even be fatal,” he said.

Dr. Suzanne Stevens, Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology for The University of Kansas Health Systems also added, “Wearable devices and the biometric sensors they utilize can provide vital information to users. Similar to how taking your temperature can indicate an illness, the Pulse Ox information provided by the Garmin vívosmart 4 wearable device alerted the user that something was wrong and assisted medical personnel to rapidly diagnose a condition that otherwise could have had dire (and possibly fatal) consequences if undetected.”

While a carbon monoxide detector is certainly one of the best defenses against CO poisoning, Margo’s story proves just how important it is to pay attention to your body. Even something as simple as data from a Garmin wearable can help identify potential health risks.

*This is not a medical device and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or monitoring of any medical condition; see Pulse Ox not available in all countries.

The post Knowing Your Body Could Save Your Life appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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