Tuesday, December 7, 2021

COVID Home Isolation Treatment | Oxygen Procedure | Remdesivir vs. Other Medicines

After seeing the dire Covid crisis in the country, I asked myself a question. How can I use this website to help people as much as possible? What will be the best way? This post is the answer to that question.

Today, hospitals across the country are facing a lack of hospital beds, oxygen, and ventilators. So you have to be prepared for this worst-case scenario that if someone in your family or your friends gets Covid-19, the chances are that they will not get a hospital bed.

In such cases, you will have to keep them at home and treat them. In this post, I will try to explain the home treatment of Covid-19 step-by-step in the worst-case scenario if you cannot get a hospital bed or a doctor to consult.

Obviously, I am not a doctor, and I have not studied medicine. So, for this post, I especially consulted a team of professional doctors who told me the guidelines step-by-step about what can be done to treat Covid-19 at home.

I’d like to tell you the things that they explained to me in detail in today’s post.

Most medicines mentioned in this post are available only on the prescription of a doctor and are not OTC.

Firstly, there is WhatsApp forward that is very viral nowadays.

It tells you that inhaling camphor, carom seeds, and clove will help in boosting your oxygen levels. And that it will help in treating Covid-19. This is completely fake news. It will not help you in any way. So please, do not try any information given in a WhatsApp forward. It can instead harm your health.

Now that we’ve understood this, let’s see the scientifically proven techniques, that actually help in treating Covid-19.

If there is a victim of Covid-19 in your home, first, isolate them. After isolating them, it’s important to monitor them as well. You would need monitoring equipment here.

Which equipment?

First is a pulse oximeter.

This is a small device that goes on the finger. It costs around a few thousand rupees. It measures oxygen saturation.

Apart from this, a thermometer to measure the temperature. Gloves for the person who will care for the Covid-19 victim. Masks for everyone to wear. Garbage disposal bags, hand sanitizers, and, if possible, a separate toilet for the patient of Covid-19.

The room where the Covid-19 patient would stay, keep the fans on and windows open. Ventilation is essential. All this is done so that the infection is not spread among others.

The thermometer and pulse oximeter will be the two main monitoring devices that will help in monitoring the Covid-19 patient. Whenever you use them, do not forget to wipe them with a cloth so that their reading is always accurate.

Create a simple table to record the data on a computer in Excel or you can even draw it on paper. Measure three things every 6 hours.

Oxygen saturation, pulse, and the temperature from the thermometer.

First, measure the oxygen saturation while sitting and then after exercising for 1 minute. Sit and stand for 1 minute and then measure. If the oxygen saturation in the patient is more than 94%, then there’s nothing to worry about. It is normal and there is no need for hospitalization.

If the oxygen saturation is between 92-94%, then start measuring it every 4 hours. And if it falls below 92%,

I will tell you what to do in the next step.

On the other hand, you have to measure the temperature every 6 hours as well.

If there is a fever, you have to give Paracetamol. 1 gram of Paracetamol every 6 to 8 hours depending upon the fever.

In this situation, the hydration of the patient is very important. So ensure that the patient is drinking sufficient water.

In this situation, to help the patient, inhaled steroids like Budesonide can also be given. Twice daily at the dose of 800 MCG.

This steroid often comes in aerosol packaging and a spacer is needed to inhale them. It is used for asthma.

The next scenario is that the oxygen saturation falls below 92%.

In this case, if a hospital bed is available, the patient should be admitted to the hospital.

The medicines and steroids that the patient should get in this case are these:

Dexamethasone 6mg/day or equivalent steroid, Prednisone 40mg, Methylprednisolone 30mg, or Hydrocortisone 150mg. Any one of these can be administered, and it does not matter how the steroid is prepared.

N.B. Don’t take these steroids without consulting a doctor. Your previous health conditions may cause side effects. Eg: If you’re diabetic then you should not take Prednisone.

At night when the patient goes to sleep, ask them to sleep in the prone position.

That is to sleep on their stomach. This is a very simple and scientifically proven technique of increasing oxygen saturation.

Watch this video.

Apart from this, in this scenario, again, use Paracetamol for fever. In addition, maintain sufficient hydration and make passive leg movements of the patient. That is, take the legs and move them and keep them in different positions so that their blood circulation remains good. So that the circulation is not affected because of lying in bed for a long period.

In this scenario, friends, you will also need to supplement oxygen at home. So try to arrange oxygen from somewhere.

You can also use a nasal cannula. This is a tube-like device that goes into the nose. It helps the oxygen to flow from the oxygen cylinder to the body of the patient.

Maintain a flow rate of 2-4 liters per minute. Start at a lower rate and scale up to 6 liters per minute if required as long as the patient’s oxygen saturation remains above 92%.

Obviously, when the oxygen saturation in the patient would increase, they would not feel breathlessness, and their respiratory rate, i.e., the number of times they’re breathing per minute, would go below 24 per minute.

So you can say that the patient has started to improve. The patient’s health has started to improve.

But if this does not happen and the oxygen saturation falls below 90%.

In this case, if you can get a hospital bed, it’ll be good. Because it will be crucial to moving into a hospital bed, but if there are no hospital beds available, continue the same treatment as home.

Keep giving the drugs in the same quantity that I mentioned before. The oxygen flow rate can be scaled up from 6 liters per minute to 10 liters per minute.

If the oxygen saturation remains below 90%, keep administering steroids and maintain a prone position during the whole time.

The improvement in the patient will come only when the oxygen saturation goes above 92%.

Additionally, the patient will be able to breathe easily, they will not feel breathless, and the respiratory rate will be less than 24 breaths per minute.

I will like to give a list of some drugs and steroids that should NOT be used.

Azithromycine, Hydroxychloroquine, Doxycycline, Favipravir, Ivermectin, Remdesivir.

People considered them useful at some time. But the research papers published later had stated that they are not useful.

Taking about Remdesivir, it is for particular use cases. Unfortunately, until now, any scientific research has not been able to prove that this helps reduce mortality against Covid-19. So it will not reduce the chances of your dying simply by taking it.

Some researchers have said that Remdesivir may help in reducing the duration of illnesses if it is given at the correct time.

All the hype for this drug, the shortage and the black marketing, in reality, this drug is almost useless.

But the other steroids that I told you about, they’re actually helping in the treatment.

The steps of home treatment that I told you about, it is advisable if it’s possible for you, to get an initial assessment done of the patient at the very least from a hospital or clinic by a doctor. So that the doctor gets to know about the pre-existing conditions of the patient and the precautions that would be required. Because what happens at times when something is recommended, like the position of lying on the stomach, if someone is pregnant, obviously, they should not do it. If someone has a problem with the spine, they should not do it.

Every patient is different.

There are slight changes in the treatment based on the existing problems which can be recommended by a doctor only.

This is why it is advisable to get an initial assessment; if that is not possible, take oversight of a doctor or a nurse through a phone call or video call. It will also be good.

Apart from this, keep practicing sanitizing, physical distancing, and masking especially if there is a Covid-19 patient in your home, and promote vaccination.

One thing that I will like to tell you is that vaccination is for prevention; it is not a cure.

The vaccine is not a medicine that if you get Covid-19 it will cure you. It is not a procedure of treatment.

If you have the symptoms of Covid-19, you should not take the vaccine. Wait till the symptoms go away and take the vaccine after that. Because by taking a vaccine, you are basically training your immune system for fighting against the disease. But if your immune system is already under stress because you already have the disease, what will the training do? When you’re already infected. The training will then be useless, and it won’t help you.

Another thing is that because it takes some time for the training, be extra cautious after taking the vaccine. Practice extra social distancing, handwashing, and sanitizing. Because immediately after taking the vaccine, it will be challenging for your body if you get the disease. Because it will be training for your immune system, and the actual disease comes in as well. There is an added stress on the immune system.

I hope, this post will be helpful when needed.

Read it and share it with your friends, family and relatives. So that everyone is prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Disclaimer: All the information on this post has been compiled by a team of professional doctors based in Vellore. Still, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor/nurse at least once before applying the knowledge mentioned in this post since your previous health conditions may cause undesired side effects. However, this post is made in good faith to save people’s lives in the worst-case scenario, and I bear no personal responsibility if something goes wrong.

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