COVID-19 Care COVID-19 Updates Patient Awareness Protocol for Emergencies

How To Decide If A COVID Patient Needs Hospitalization?

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India is in the grips of the second wave of COVID-19. There has been a steady upsurge in the number of COVID cases in India since February 2021. And of late, India has been registering more COVID-19 positive results than last year. 

Naturally, people are scared. But at a time of crisis, there are two things we all need to do. 1. Strictly follow COVID protocol. 2. Don’t panic. 

Despite observing precautions, there is a possibility that people may contract the disease because others haven’t been cautious. In such cases, family members and patients themselves need to stay calm and make sensible decisions. The first question that pops to mind when someone in the family contracts COVID is this – do they need to be hospitalized? Let us address this question.

When should a person be hospitalized?

Remember, not all COVID patients need to be admitted into a hospital. In fact, only a few people who test positive actually need hospitalization.

80 to 90% of patients have mild symptoms that can be treated at home under a doctor’s guidance. Firstly once anyone develops any symptoms, they shouldn’t delay or deny or self-diagnose. In COVID, the first 3 to 5 days are very crucial. The earlier the treatment is begun the better it is. If your family decides to treat you at home then follow all instructions, take all medicines as advised. Here are a few parameters to help you decide when  home-care should end and patient needs hospitalization or medical supervision:  

Blood oxygen saturation level

Oxygen saturation refers to the volume of oxygen present in your blood. This oxygen is transported to different parts of your body through blood so that your cells can function. Your SpO2 level should always be 95% or more. If the COVID-19 patient’s SpO2 drops below 93%, then he/she will require immediate medical care.

Read about Oxygen Concentrators And How Are They Helping The COVID-19 Patients.

Persistent high fever

Fever is not just a common COVID-19 symptom but it accompanies any infection. In fact, a fever indicates that your body is fighting the disease. But if the body temperature reaches 101 Fahrenheit and refuses to subside for nearly 5 days, the person should be taken to a hospital.


If Breathlessness is observed in a COVID patient then he/she shall require hospitalization. 

Mental confusion

In case of mental confusion, the person shall require hospitalization.

Bluish discoloration of finger or toe

If this occurs, immediate medical attention is needed.

A person is 60 years of age or older

When a senior citizen contracts COVID-19, it is best to consult a doctor on whether he/she needs hospitalization. Even so, not all COVID-positive senior citizens need to recuperate in a hospital. The family doctor who is familiar with the person’s health history should take the call on this.

If a person does not have any of the above, then that person can tide over COVID at home under medical guidance from his doctor. It is advised to only follow your doctor’s advice, be in constant touch with your doctor, keep informing him/ her of your temperature, oxygen levels, and overall status. With the support of family, good nutrition, adequate rest, hydration and medications, the majority of people are recovering at home with help of their doctors. 

Rushing every COVID-19 patient to the hospital when the person does not require hospitalization, will only bog down a system that is already reeling under the weight of a record number of COVID hospitalizations. This way, you could actually deprive very ill persons of the emergency care that they need. Speak with your doctor and proceed accordingly.  

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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