The COVID-19 virus causes an infection that affects humans and animals such as camels, felines and bats. The infection often triggers the common cold, laryngitis and pneumonia in humans and it may also affect the human sensory system. With a sudden surge in COVID-19 positive cases across the globe, pharmacies and online retailers are unable to keep up with the demand for masks, hand sanitisers, etc. This is because people are stocking up on masks, hand sanitisers and other medical supplies to protect themselves from the virus.
Home Treatment –
Undergoing a COVID-19 detection test is the easiest way to find out if you have contracted the disease. If the test results are positive, you can contact your doctor right away. Most people who come in close contact with the COVID-19 virus will only have a minor infection and will be able to recover at home. Home treatment for relief from the symptoms includes rest, high fluid intake, breathing exercises and over-the-counter medications. Pedialyte, powdered oral rehydration salts and sports beverages have electrolytes that can be used to keep yourself hydrated. At the point you feel dehydrated, drinking coconut water is one of the best ways to remain hydrated. Also, soups are easy to drink and digest when you experience dehydration.
Important Vitals and Readings that Need to be Kept in Check –
Testing your vital signs (temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels) while on home care for COVID-19 lets you monitor your situation and you can alert the doctor if your condition deteriorates. In such situations, the need for immediate medical attention arises. A pharmacy can provide thermometers and pulse oximeters, which can be used at home to monitor body temperature, blood oxygen levels and heart rate. Such medical equipment is a must-have for proper home treatment. Apart from these, you can keep several other medical equipments at home. Let us understand in detail how they work and how you can use them during home treatment.
Medical Equipment to be Kept at Home
Given below are the medical products in high demand that can aid in the fight against the coronavirus at home:
- Pulse Oximeter – An oximeter is a gadget that measures the quantity of oxygen in the blood and the rate at which the heartbeats. They are particularly useful for COVID-19 patients who experience breathing issues because of low oxygen levels. While using this device, ensure that your hands are at room temperature. If they are not, rub your hands together to warm them up. Before you insert your finger inside the oximeter, sit down and rest. The pulse oximeter is to be placed on your index finger. While the pulse oximeter gets your reading, you will see the beat waves on the oximeter screen on your finger. The standard range of pulse oximeter readings is 95 to 100 percent. Values lower than 90% are considered low and suggest the need for additional oxygen.
- Incentive Spirometer – You breathe in air through a tube connected to a wide air column containing a piston or ball when using an incentive spirometer. The piston or ball inside the column expands as you breathe in. The height of the piston or ball indicates the amount of air you inhaled. When you take a deep breath in for this exercise, you can feel dizzy. Stop exercising and relax if you feel dizzy or like you are about to pass out. At first, you would only be able to lift the piston or ball a few inches up the shaft. If you continue to use the spirometer, you should be able to take in more air and normal breathing may return.
- Oxygen cylinder – Compacted oxygen and clinical air chambers are refillable containers that store oxygen and clinical gases at high gaseous pressure in a non-fluid state. They have a valve and an oxygen level controller, like a simple knob that increases or decreases the oxygen flow accordingly. These cylinders are available from small mobile units to bigger 10L containers as per the requirement. The cylinders are available in standard sizes and have controllers and fittings as per global standards.
- Patient monitor multi-parametric – These are medical devices that monitor patients by continuously measuring, calculating and displaying physiological parameters. They can be simple, measuring just one or two vital signs or complex, measuring several parameters and used in intensive care units and specialised surgeries for critical patients. At the bedside, there are battery-operated and electrically powered portable models. Depending on the parameters to be monitored (e.g., ECG, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate and respiratory gas concentrations), the instruments contain patient wires, monitors and adapters, configured to alert physicians about changes in a patient.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Treatment (ER)
Between the fifth and the tenth day of infection, cases of COVID-19 can begin mildly and progress to more serious side effects, with symptoms becoming more severe in the evenings. Knowing how to check your vital signs at home and which severe side effects to be mindful of will help you decide whether you need to go to an emergency clinic. Reading in 90% immersion of haemoglobin or less on a pulse oximeter is a medical emergency that should be treated at a clinic.
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.