With increasing dearth of hospital beds, many COVID-19 positive patients are recuperating under home isolation. While this is proving effective for a substantial number of patients (particularly the ones with mild to moderate symptoms) it is proving fatal for some severe patients for sudden drops of oxygen levels are leading to fatalities. In any case technically, all patients under home isolation should have access to a dedicated doctor so that his /her condition can be monitored daily at regular intervals.
Given the fact that most doctors today are strapped in hospital COVID duties throughout the day and night, a majority of patients under home isolation do not have access to a doctor. Therefore the need to be equipped with the right medicines and knowledge about home treatment cannot be over-exaggerated.
Fit Northeast contacted a leading medicine specialist, from a leading hospital in Guwahati to arm you with some basic information that might avert fatalities while recovering at home. The doctor also apprised us about the medicines that one needs to keep handy at home.
Information about three stages of COVID:
Monitoring blood oxygen levels through the oximeter is more important than you probably realise.1) COVID only in the nose: When the virus is contracted it first stays in the nasal cavity that leads to the main respiratory tract. This is really the asymptomatic stage and probably this fact explains why one of the first symptoms of COVID contraction is loss of smell. If the patient undergoes home isolation/treatment at this stage there is nothing much to worry as through steam inhalation he/she can recover within a day or two. It is critical to keep the body hydrated with warm fluids like water, ginger tea and lemon water. Warm meals (with atleast one egg a day) and salt water gargles at regular intervals are a must. Vitamin C supplements too must be taken.
2) COVID in throat: This second stage is characterized largely by sore or dry throat accompanied sometimes by a dry cough. Body temperature might be high. This is a stage when you require paracetamol and generous doses of both Vitamin C and Vitamin Bcomplex. Salt water gargles and steam inhalation are recommended at this stage too. Actually this is really the stage when one needs to know what to not do. Employing a conservative healing approach against an aggressive one is recommended.
For instance though cough syrups are necessary at this stage, these should not be taken without apprising a doctor about the patient's exact discomforts and symptoms as not all cough syrups are suited for all cases. Although in hospitals, patients are administered antibiotics and antivirals it is not advisable for patients to self-medicate themselves with these drugs without a doctor's prescription or supervision. After all, every patient's case and condition might have something unique. Moreover antibiotic doses (essentially the quantities) have to be administered with precision, which only medical practitioners are capable of and over-use of antibiotics can have repercussions. At this stage it is critical to keep monitoring one's blood oxygen level with a pulse oximeter. If the oxygen levels fall below 80 it is cause for worry. Any further drop is a red flag and the patient should be immediately brought to the emergency unit of a COVID hospital.
3) COVID in lungs: This stage is characterized by hoarse coughing and breathlessness. Ideally such patients should never be in home isolation. However, due to unavoidable circumstances if they are in home isolation they have to necessarily have access to an oxygen cylinder. The liquid intake at this stage needs to be much more than normal and the patient should keep taking deep breaths at regular intervals. Vitamin C and B complex, paracetamol, hot water gargles and steam inhalation to be continued at this stage too. Blood oxygen levels need to be more frequently monitored by the pulse oximeter.
The COVID medical kit required at home should necessarily include paracetamol, betadine for mouthwash and gargle, Vitamin C and D3, B complex, capsules for steam inhalation, oximeter, oxygen cylinder (for emergency only) and arogya setu app.