You should follow certain safety measures when taking care of covid-19 patient at home. Here are some of these you should know,
To be able to tackle Covid-19, it is important to know the various measures that need to be taken. Awareness helps in preparedness. When you get to know that someone in the family is Covid positive, do not panic. You can very well take care of the person at home if you know certain precautionary measures. Here are a few tips you should follow.
Covid care at home: Tips to follow
1. Be aware of the symptoms and get tested on timeThe most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, dry cough, weakness, body ache, headache, loss of smell/taste, runny nose or congestion. Other symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, conjunctivitis, skin rash, chest pain, etc. As soon as you see any symptom, it is important to get yourself tested. In a few cases, if the symptoms are present and the test report is negative (false negative), please consult your doctor on the next steps.
2. Isolate immediately
The patient needs to isolate/quarantine himself/herself in a separate room, preferably with an attached bathroom. This is important because the Coronavirus spreads through the infected person’s respiratory secretions. It spreads by direct contact, droplet spread and air-borne spread. Hence, it is important that the person stays in an isolated room so that other family members are safe. It’s also important to wear a mask while interacting with a family member even when you are maintaining distance.
3. Do not self-medicate – Consultation is crucial
As soon as one is detected positive or starts having Covid-19 symptoms, it is useful and important to take a doctor consultation. Even if the symptoms are mild, regular clinical monitoring is important so that the condition does not deteriorate. The doctor will prescribe suitable medications as per the patient’s symptoms, age and comorbidities. Please do not self-medicate with any antibiotic or steroids as it may have adverse effects. The doctor will also advise suitable tests whenever required. Early radiological scan is not of much clinical value.
If you are unable to get a face to face consultation, opt for tele consultation offered by many home healthcare providers or hospitals.
Do not self medicate and check with your doctor if you are experiencing covid-19 symptoms
4. Monitor and record the vitals
A person needs to monitor vitals 3 times a day. Below are the key vitals to monitor-
- Temperature by a Thermometer
- Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) and pulse rate by Pulse Oximeter
- Blood pressure and blood sugar, if required
One can also opt for clinically driven home quarantine programs by home healthcare providers to ensure regular consultations and daily monitoring of symptoms.
The family members might have come in contact with the patient before he/she started isolation and there is a high chance that they might have been exposed to the virus. Hence all the other family members need to be careful for the next few days. They should wear a mask and keep a close watch on their symptoms and vitals regularly.
5. Eat well, sleep well
Good care of general health is equally important so that the body’s immune system can fight with the virus. A well balanced nutritious diet, lots of water intake, simple exercises and regular sleep is crucial.
6. Follow generic safety measures
Family members must not share utensils or personal items. Commonly touched surfaces should be disinfected frequently. Ensure enough ventilation inside the patient’s room to make it fairly more comfortable for the patient.
If existing symptoms increase or new symptoms appear after 5-7 days, clinical opinion must be sought immediately. The decision to end your quarantine must be made on the basis of your doctor’s advice.
(Dr Sweta Choudhary, Head, Medical Products and Services, Nightingales Home Health Services)
This article first appeared in Doctor NDTV – https://doctor.ndtv.com/living-healthy/taking-care-of-covid-19-patient-at-home-follow-these-safety-tips-2484287