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Abstract Background Even when resting pulse oximetry is normal in the patient with acute Covid-19, hypoxia can manifest on exertion. We sought to summarise the literature on the performance of different rapid tests for exertional desaturation. Research question What tests have been formally evaluated for the rapid assessment of exertional hypoxia? What is the evidence for their accuracy, practicability and safety in the context of suspected acute Covid-19? To what extent will these tests help identify patients with evidence of either silent or hidden hypoxia leading to earlier recognition of those at risk of severe outcomes? Method We aim to review three independent searches of AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE MEDLINE, Cochrane and PubMed using LitCovid, Scholar and Google databases until 24 th September 2020. Screening, data abstraction, and quality appraisal of full-text papers will be completed independently by two reviewers including a topic expert and a review expert. Studies will be tabulated and assessed for risk of bias using QUADAS 2 tool. Discussion This rapid review aims to produce key findings relevant to the assessment of exertional desaturation in patients with suspected Covid-19. Establishing a validated tool to assess exertional desaturation will help to ensure that future research on this topic can be undertaken in a consistent way. An exertional desaturation test should be used in combination with a comprehensive clinical evaluation and only on patients whose resting oximetry reading is 96% or above unless in a supervised care setting. It should be terminated if the patient experiences adverse effects.

Original publication

DOI

10.1101/2020.10.31.20223453

Type

Journal article

Publication Date

04/11/2020