With the increasing number of cases day by day, India witnessed a high demand of ventilators, oxygen cylinders, injections, medicines and beds. People are struggling for even a breath due to lack of oxygen supply. The corona virus pandemic has challenged the health care system of India and has seriously disturbed the mental balance of the front-line workers. People who reach out to the hospitals for better care and medical assistance are being sent back at their respective homes in home isolation in order to save those who are critically affected by the disease.
Here are some tips suggested by doctors which could improve the quality of care which you can offer to your family/friends/relatives who have tested positive for covid.
The first and the foremost thing to do under such a scenario is to isolate the patient, followed by sincere monitoring of the patient’s health for which some monitoring equipments are required such as a pulse oximeter to keep a regular check on the patient’s oxygen saturation level, thermometer for monitoring body temperature, gloves, mask , garbage disposal bag and hand sanitizers to avoid infection from the patient, and a separate washroom if possible. Proper ventilation in the isolation room is equally important. Keep the windows open and the fans on. Thermometer and pulse oximeter are the most important monitoring devices. Always wipe them before use to ensure correct readings. In every six hours, the following things should be monitored:
- Oxygen Saturation
- Body temperature
Take two readings of oxygen saturation level. (1) While sitting (2) After exercising for 1 minute (sit and stand for 1 minute). If the oxygen saturation is above 94%, continue to monitor the same, no need of hospitalization. If oxygen saturation is between 92 to 94%, continue monitoring after every four hours (in rest position only). If oxygen saturation level is below 92%, immediately contact your doctor. Fever is also to be monitored after every six hours. If the body temperature is high than normal, the patient can be given 1gm paracetamol in every 6-8 hours depending upon the body temperature.
Ensure sufficient hydration of the patient. Inhaled Steroids like BUDESONIDE can help the patient in such a situation. The prescribed dosage of BUDESONIDE is 800 MCG twice daily through the spacer. These steroids usually come in aerosol packages.
If the oxygen saturation of the patient continues to decline from 92%, the patient should immediately arrange for hospitalization. But if the beds are unavailable and hospitalization is not possible, the patient could be given any ONE of the following medicines- (1) Dexamethasone 6mg/day or equivalent steroid (2) Prednisone 40mg (3) Methylprednisolone 30mg (4) Hydrocortisone 150 mg.
It is highly recommended and scientifically proven to lie down in prone position. This position increases oxygen saturation level in the body. In severe conditions, an oxygen cylinder or nasal canula would also be required to increase declining oxygen levels.
Signs of improvement include oxygen levels higher that 92%, respiratory rate less than 24 breaths per minute and the patient experience no breathlessness.
The following are the drugs which are NOT recommended/useful by doctors:
Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, doxycycline, favipravir, ivermectin, remdesivir (can only be used upon doctor’s prescription)
The above tips are derived directly from highly reputed doctors but it is advisable to kindly consult your doctor before following the above tips. Stay home, save lives.