There is no doubt that the unforeseen Pandemic has created havoc in the minds of people around the globe. With the numbers of COVID-19 cases looking far from manageable in our very own nation, there is a constant worry of how to cope if you or anyone in your family tests positive. Most COVID-19 Cases are symptomatic, although there are many more that are asymptomatic and hence one cannot be certain of being COVID-19 positive until after a very long time. This increases the chances of the virus rapidly transmitting to anyone living under the same roof with the infected.
According to the WHO, “patients with mild symptoms and without underlying chronic conditions such as lung or heart disease, renal failure, or immunocompromising conditions that place him/her at increased risk of developing complications may be cared for in the home environment”.
To manage a COVID-19 mild case at home and prevent the spread of infection to household contacts, it is important to follow personal hygiene and swear by basic infection prevention and control measures.
COVID-19 HOME CARE KIT: Need of the Hour
Keeping a COVID-19 Emergency Home Care Kit ready within your reach can help you every take all the precautions needed, especially if there is a suspected or confirmed case of mild COVID-19 amidst your loved ones. If you stay alone, it is even more important to keep the environment of your home clean, especially if you’re receiving home deliveries or showing mild symptoms of flu, coughing, or sneezing.
Medpick India has compiled a Home Care Kit with the help of Healthcare Experts and medical manufacturers, which includes COVID-19 home healthcare essentials such as pulse oximeters, thermometer, disposable gloves, face shield, and face masks, essential to treating a COVID-19 patient at home.
But first, the prime question is, Why must every home have a COVID-19 Essential Kit?
1. ISOLATION AND CLEANING SUPPLIES
To prevent transmission of the virus from the sick to the healthy members, a safe distance must be maintained by the infected person from other members of the house. To achieve this, one must choose a room in the house that can be used to separate the infected from the rest of the people in the house. However, in reality, you may have to bring in food, water, and medicine into the room, and so the use of gloves and masks while entering the room is absolutely necessary. In situations where there is a shared toilet for the entire household, the infected should wear gloves and masks while leaving the room.
2. DISINFECTING HIGH-TOUCH SURFACES
Any surface that comes in touch with the COVID-19 infected, be it in his/her room or in shared spaces such as bathrooms, must be frequently sanitized or disinfected. High-touch surfaces include Tables, Countertops, desks, Light Switches, phones, keyboards, Doorknobs, handles, Toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
A thorough cleaning of such surfaces with alcohol-based disinfectants or soap and water should be done, all the while wearing disposable gloves and masks in the process.
If you’re the caregiver for the infected person, wearing a face shield while in the vicinity of the sick can also help as it prevents the direct splatter of contaminated droplets if the infected person is sneezing or coughing. Wash your hands regularly and frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, and minimize touching your face(eyes, nose, mouth).
4. TRACK AND MANAGE THE INFECTION
The temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels of the infected individual should be checked upon regularly, with the help of thermometers and pulse oximeters. This is to ensure that the severity of the infection has not increased. In cases of asymptomatic COVID patients, the coronavirus attacks the respiratory system, which results in shortness of breath and an increase in heart rate. The use of a pulse oximeter allows you to keep track of the blood oxygen level and heart rate of the infected person. A reading of 95% of oxygen level or more is usually considered to be normal, while a reading of 92% or less on the oximeter is an indication that the blood oxygen saturation level is poor and the person needs immediate attention. Further use of saline nasal sprays, gargle solutions, and flu medications help reduce the viral load in the body.
Apart from a Home Care Kit, a healthy diet and regular practice of breathing exercises is also part of boosting immunity against the coronavirus. Thus, drink more fluids such as green juices and water multiple times a day. Eat healthily, avoid junk foods, and eat food with more green and fewer spices. Deep breathing exercises such as box breathing (breathing out for 3 seconds, hold the breath, breathing in for 3 seconds, hold the breath, and repeat), balloon exercises, etc. help clear the airway for comfortable breathing.
Safety starts at home. In such tough times of the Pandemic, the facility of primary COVID-19 care at home helps keep fear and uncertainty at bay.