We’ve mentioned Apple‘s recent difficulties surrounding the crash detection technology in their newer iPhones and Apple Watches a couple times now. Skiers have been unknowingly alerting emergency responders after their devices detect what is believed to be a major accident in a more or less minor ski crash. But that doesn’t mean Apple’s technology is necessarily bad. For CBS 8‘s Marcella Lee, for example, the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensor may just have saved her son’s life.
While Lee and her family were staying in Dillon, CO, for a ski trip to Keystone over their holiday break, they, predictably, felt some altitude sickness. But that sickness became a little bit more concerning with her 16-year-old son, Keyes, when he no longer felt well enough to ski.
“By nighttime when I checked on my son, I noticed his lips were a bit blue and so were his fingertips. It was dark and it was late and I couldn’t really tell if I was seeing things, if he really was blue. And suddenly I remembered my Apple Watch has a feature that measures oxygen saturation. I quickly put the watch on my son and as those seconds counted down, what popped up was frightening. 66% oxygen saturation.” – Marcella Lee
According to Yale Medicine, a healthcare provider should be contacted if oxygen saturation drops below 92%. If that number drops below 88%, one should seek immediate medical attention. Fortunately, after reading 66% on her Apple Watch, Marcella took her son to the ER, confirming that his oxygen saturation was at a scary 67%.
Keyes was diagnosed with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, a condition that affects just 1 in 10,000 Colorado skiers. Had he attempted to sleep off the sickness and remained at a 67% through the night, he could have gone into a coma.
Obviously this isn’t a super happy story and no one wants to experience something like this for themselves, but it is an amazing story, and we’re very grateful to Marcella Lee for sharing. Her son is fine, going to school almost like normal, but this had to be a scary incident for the entire family.
Image Credit: CBS 8 San Diego