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As the number of cases is increasing globally on a daily basis, all the preventive measures are being taken to contain the infection. With the help of all the possible supportive care, doctors have been able to treat lakhs of patients throughout the world, including those who were admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19. However, the recovery time increases for the COVID-19 patients, especially for those who have been on a ventilator as the rule is that the sicker you are, the longer it will take to recover. (Read more: Risk of intubation and ventilators for COVID-19 patients)

Various patients needed assistance getting enough oxygen, even after coming off the ventilator. The assistance could be given at home through a mask or a continuous positive airway pressure ventilator (Cpap).

If the patient has returned from intensive care, he or she may take a long time to recover from it physically and mentally. Patients may require assistance in sitting, standing or even lifting their arms off the bed. Sometimes the patient may need physical therapy to walk again, breathe comfortably again or even speaking and swallowing. 

Here in this article, we will talk about the ways in which you can take care of a COVID-19 patient at home after they have been discharged from the hospital.

  1. Who is discharged from the hospital?
  2. What care needs to be given after a person with COVID-19 infection is discharged?
  3. Doctors for Home based care for patients who have recovered from COVID-19
  4. Things to do if you are recovering from COVID-19 at home

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total time taken for the recovery of mild cases is approximately two weeks, whereas, for patients with severe or critical diseases, recovery can take three to six weeks. A person infected by COVID-19 can be discharged from the hospital if they meet the following criteria:  

  • If their two consecutive RT-PCR tests (taken 24 hours apart) results show a negative viral load.
  • If the patient does not show in any respiratory symptoms (coughing or difficulty breathing).
  • If the patient does not have a fever (> 37.8°C) for 48 hours.
  • If the patient is feeling fine and does not have any underlying severe immunosuppression.

The patient who has just been discharged from the hospital should receive all the necessary care at home. Following measures can be taken to take care of a person affected with COVID-19 infection:

  • Even after the discharge, the patient should self-isolate themselves at home or in a safe place for the next 14 days to make sure that they do not develop the symptoms of COVID-19 again. 
  • The people in the house should make sure that the patient is able to adhere to isolation recommendations. If possible give them separate room and bathroom to use. 
  • Minimal contact should be made with the patient. A designated person should take care of the patient at home. 
  • The caretaker should note down the temperature of the discharged patient for the next 14 days. There should be separate thermometers, blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter for the discharged patient.
  • The person taking care of the discharged patient should have proper protection measures. Use of gloves and mask is recommended to them, while meeting the patient or while taking care of their soiled dishes and laundry.
  • The patient should have access to food and other basic necessities within reach. They should have access to natural air and sunlight. 
  • Both the patient and the caretaker should maintain proper hand hygiene (washing hands frequently with soap and water). The patient should maintain respiratory hygiene to reduce the possibility of spreading the disease.
  • Exercise is restricted for weeks to months, especially to those who were admitted to the intensive care unit. This is done so that the muscles and lungs could recover from the damage caused by COVID-19. 
  • If there are household members who are old aged or have an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, lung disease and cancer, they should stay away from the discharged patient.
  • Follow-up visits to these patients should usually be done with the help of telemedicine. They should be able to contact the doctor via telephone or camera aided electronic devices.
  • Psychological support should be provided to the patients who have been traumatized due to the intense course of treatment. A professional psychologist can be provided to these patients via telemedicine.
  • If these patients require testing again, the doctors and the medical staff should prioritise them.
Dr. Arun R

Dr. Arun R

Infectious Disease
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta

Infectious Disease
16 Years of Experience

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Infectious Disease
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Alok Mishra

Dr. Alok Mishra

Infectious Disease
5 Years of Experience

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
AlzumabAlzumab Injection5760.72
AnovateANOVATE OINTMENT 20GM70.0
Pilo GoPilo GO Cream52.5
Proctosedyl BdPROCTOSEDYL BD CREAM 15GM54.6
ProctosedylPROCTOSEDYL 10GM OINTMENT 10GM49.7
RemdesivirRemdesivir Injection10500.0
Fabi FluFabi Flu 200 Tablet904.4
CoviforCovifor Injection3780.0
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References

  1. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control [internet] Solna Municipality. Sweden; Guidance for discharge and ending isolation in the context of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 – first update
  2. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home
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