Dr. April Baller, WHO Medical Officer, reviewed the procedures to be adhered to if a person has COVID-19 and asked to take care of himself at home or if he is providing care for a person with COVID-19 at home, while she is hosting the televised magazine Science in Five Published by the WHO website and presented by Vismita Gupta Smith.
Two scenarios are recurring
Dr. April Paler said that there are two recurring scenarios, which is that a person is asked to care for himself or a Covid patient at home, and the first scenario often occurs when there are large and widespread pressures on the health system, for example, as a result of a sudden increase in cases in the community, As is the case in many countries now, and the capacity of the beds inside the hospital is completely or almost occupied, meaning that only limited beds remain for extremely critical cases, in this case, what doctors may do is that they sign the examination on the patient and give him treatment and advice Then he returns home to receive treatment.
And Dr. April goes on to say: The second scenario, which is the ideal scenario, is when the patients’ PCR test results are positive, but they do not show any symptoms or show very mild symptoms and do not suffer from any underlying diseases such as cardiovascular disease or lung disease. Chronic and young adults, and these sufferers can also be taken care of at home. But, they have an obligation to contact their healthcare provider first for advice in real time.
Patient and caregiver safety
On ways to maintain the safety of the patient himself or those in contact with him, Dr. April Baler said first that the most important point is the necessity for the patient and those who provide him with health care to stay in a separate room. If this is not possible, the patient should be obligated to remain isolated in a particular part of the home and have limited movements within the home.
Also, a distance of not less than one meter must be observed from the patient and between anyone else. Second, it is essential to have good ventilation in the patient’s room and any common areas, which means that there is really fresh air flowing as much as possible in the rooms, by opening the windows and doors.
Third, only one person should be the caregiver of the patient and the caregiver should not have any underlying health condition. The fourth point in it is that whenever patients receive care, they must wear a medical mask, with the caregiver adhering to the same procedure, and once the caregiver leaves the room, be sure to wash hands well with soap and water.
Dr. April added that plates, cups, towels and bed linen should be reserved for patients’ use only. And it must be washed with soap and water well not to replace it on a daily basis.
Dr. April explained that it is also important that any surfaces that the patient touches frequently are cleaned and disinfected every day and any waste from that patient must be packed safely. Finally, we utterly caution the patient to receive any visitors during the illness period.
Alarming symptoms and signs
Regarding symptoms or signs of concern that warrant a doctor’s immediate consultation, Dr. April Paler said that when caring for patients at home, it is important to monitor the condition regularly. Ideally, this should be done at least once a day for any signs and symptoms, complications, or red flags that portend any danger.
Also, the point is that signs and symptoms can vary slightly according to age. In adults, there may be a complaint of dizziness, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with chest pain, and they may appear to be dehydrated. And for children, according to Dr. April, they often exhibit symptoms that include an abstinence from eating or bluish lips or face. In the case of infants, they stop breastfeeding.
Measurement of oxygen in the blood
Dr. April Baler added that staying home for treatment, some patients may be asked to measure oxygen saturation using a pulse oximeter, which is a medical device that monitors the level of oxygen in the blood.
She explained that the “Oximeter” is a very useful device as long as the user is clearly able to distinguish between normal and abnormal readings.