If you're caring for a Covid
patient at home, what is the treatment protocol? Hello, I'm Vismita Gupta-Smith
and this is Science in 5, talking about how to care
for a patient at home. The treatment protocol for
Covid-19 care at home is Dr Janet Diaz. Welcome, Janet. Thanks for having me on
this important session. Janet, please explain the
treatment protocol for Covid care at home. So if a patient with Covid-19 is
going to be cared for at home, there are a few important
things to consider. One is the patient should be in isolation, meaning that we
don't want that patient to transmit the virus to
other people. Number two is you may have
a fever, so if you have a fever, you can take symptomatic
treatments or antipyretics or drugs that reduce fevers to
keep you comfortable. So that's OK. The third is to eat
and drink sufficiently. So make sure you stay hydrated,
make sure that you maintain some eating good eating habits, eat what
you like, but ensure to keep yourself well nourished
and well hydrated. Most patients who get Covid-19
will have no complications from it acutely, may not develop severe
pneumonia and may not need to go to the hospital.

And that's good. But we do know there are a few
patients, mostly those who have risk factors
for severe disease. These patients are at risk for
developing severe disease. So these patients, if they're
being monitored at home, need to carefully
watch your symptoms. There's one thing I do want
to emphasize, SARS-CoV-2 we know is a virus. So if you have Covid-19, then in
patients that are being managed at home, we don't
recommend the use of antibiotics.

That means medicines that treat bacterial
infections because it's a virus infection so it won't respond
to an antibiotic. Janet, we are seeing an increased
demand of medicines like Remdesivir and also increased appeals
for plasma therapy in the treatment of Covid-19. Please tell us what the evidence
is telling us about the effectiveness of both Remdesivir
and plasma therapy at this moment in time, we have a
recommendation against the use of Remdesivir for patients with
Covid-19 because there was low certainty in the evidence that it
had any benefit in mortality. For convalescent plasma, we don't actually have a
recommendation in that guideline specifically yet, but what we do
have in the clinical management guideline is also against its use,
unless under clinical trials as evidence is accumulating
on those interventions. So we also do not recommend its
use other than under clinical trials which are
continuing and ongoing.

Janet, let's talk about
oxygen now. How to monitor oxygen at home. What are the red flags? And also, please explain the wider
red flags beyond oxygen when a person should get alert that now
is the time to call your health care provider. Remember that all care at home
should be done under clinical supervision, which means
the decision for when if you decide to do home care or you
decide to be hospitalized really should be done under the
supervision of a health care provider, according to the national
protocols for Covid-19 care pathways, The pulse oximeter
can be used at home. Pulse oximeter is a
simple device. It's a fingertip device
that can just be a small device put on your index finger.

It is relatively inexpensive and
simple to use. We do have a recommendation saying
that if you are at home and especially if you're from a high
risk group, so you're a person that may have the
risk of developing severe disease, that monitoring your pulse ox,
your oxygen saturation at home could be useful because you can
detect, hopefully early, if your oxygen saturation starts to fall
and then get the right intervention and
care pathway started. So 94 to 90 is a little bit low. However, it's not below
90 percent, which is the warning sign. So if your number is 90 to 94,
then you have to make sure that you call your clinical provider
and you tell them, this is my number, this
is how I'm feeling. What should I do? So you can get some
advice on what to do next. The warning symptoms to consider
when you're at home are: shortness of breath or
difficulty breathing. That can imply that you're having
a pneumonia and the pneumonia is progressing.

Another one is chest pain. That can imply that your pneumonia
is there and it's progressing. Another one is change
in mental status. Sometimes that can be
like confusion, like your thinking is unclear or that you're dizzy
or that you're sleepier than usual. Janet, can oxygen therapy
be used at home? For an acute case of Covid-19
where we don't know if the pneumonia is going to be mild,
if it's going to be severe, if you're going to
progress to respiratory failure.

That is the concern. So if oxygen is going to be used
at home, it has to be done under a monitored setting, meaning that
your clinician, under clinical supervision, that it's
prescribed to you because oxygen is a medicine. Thank you, Janet. That was DrJanet Diaz explaining the protocol for caring for a Covid-19 patient at home. Until next time then. Stay safe, stay healthy and stick with science..



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