Coronavirus has proven to be a deadly disease that has created an unsurmountable amount of destruction in each of our lives. The second wave has impacted us adversely even before we could fathom anything.
We all know someone at home or in our social circles who have tested positive for COVID-19. Proper management of COVID-19 for patients at home is essential in making sure your health is regained. Here are a few things to remember for managing milder COVID-19 at home:
1. Antibiotics will not help, the first thing to do is consult a doctor
As a frontline medical practitioner, I’ve observed a lot of COVID-19 patients delay the process of consulting a medic. You must contact your physician as soon as symptoms tend to develop. Consuming antibiotics is not going to prove useful. Please be very mindful of managing the early signs of COVID-19.
2. Check with your consulting physician on the rules to have steroids
Taking steroids is not advised to all COVID-19 patients. Steroids are dangerous and should not be consumed unless otherwise advised.
3. Have nutrient-rich food
Make sure you take an adequate amount of nutrient-rich food. Choose from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C like lemon, oranges, broccoli, potatoes, peppers, Zinc like cashews, chickpeas, beans, almonds, etc. You should add supplements of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc as needed as they help in boosting your immunity. According to the recent guidelines of AYUSH, you may also take Amla, Giloy, Ashwagandha as ayurvedic supplements for boosting immunity.
4. Regularly monitor SPO2
It is critical that you regularly monitor your SPO2 level and immediately contact your doctor in case it drops below 94%. Remember: blood oxygen level of 94% and above is considered good, if your oxygen level drops below that, you need medical supervision. A HRCT (High Resolution CT Chest) should only be conducted under the direction of a doctor when investigating either a deterioration of chest symptoms (cough, SOB, new pain, worsening O2 sats) or planning a change in treatment (to more aggressive medication or oxygen therapy).
5. Practice proning in home settings to increase SPO2 levels
Proning has proven to be highly impactful in increasing SPO2 levels. Proning is a medically accepted position where a patient is turned from their back onto their abdomen with precise, safe motions, so the individual is lying with their face down. Please note: Proning or prone positioning is required only when the patient’s blood oxygen level (SPO2) is or decreases below 94%.
Head here for a detailed overview of how to practice proning at home for post-COVID19 rehabilitation.
A patient may be unqualified for proning if they have one or more of the following conditions:
- Individuals with major cardiac conditions,
- Individuals with an unstable spine,
- Individuals with pelvic fractures,
- Individuals who have suffered burns,
- Patients with open wounds,
- Patients who have undergone tracheal surgery,
- Pregnant women (over 24+ weeks pregnant)
I’ve also listed a few points in the image below on when to seek emergency care.
With the recent spread of black fungus or mucormycosis, yellow and white fungus, home hygiene and safety must be given utmost importance to fight this battle with COVID-19. Stay safe India!