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May 27 2021

How to Treat a COVID-19 Patient at Home: A Checklist


 
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, more and more hospitals are reaching their bed capacity limits for treatment and hospital care. Each day, the number of cases in the Philippines continues to rise dramatically, causing fear and panic among the masses.
 
Due to resource limitations and insufficient government funding, hospitals and healthcare workers are lagging behind in accommodating the surge in COVID-19 positive patients. Additionally, the Alliance of Health Workers has stated in March that the healthcare system is on the verge of collapsing.
 
As a result, many Filipinos in NCR are now unable to receive immediate medical attention, especially those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This makes it even more critical for the public to better take care of themselves to avoid infection.
 
Until vaccines are fully available to the public, many of those with mild to moderate symptoms should immediately self-isolate in their homes. Common symptoms from the virus are considerably easy to treat at home with supportive care and lessen the workload of health workers in hospitals.
 
When the necessary precautions are taken, these patients can begin their treatment safely without the risk of infecting others around them. To know what the symptoms of COVID-19 are and how to treat them at home, refer to this infographic below.


 

Home Treatment for a COVID-19 Patient

Here are a few key things to remember when treating a COVID-19 patient at home.
 

1. Consult with a doctor.

When a household member begins experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, schedule a tele-consult with a doctor and follow the instructions if the patient needs to be tested. Immediately locate the nearest testing center or opt for home service to determine if they have contracted the virus. Those with positive results should inform the doctor and wait for further home management advice.
 
Similarly, booking a consultation appointment through call or online platforms are also alternative options for running a diagnostic test.
 

2. Isolate the patient.

Most patients will need to undergo 14 days of isolation when being treated for COVID-19. If possible, let the patient stay in a well-ventilated room for a good rest. They should not leave the room under any circumstances until they complete their recovery.
 

3. Use a separate bathroom.

Limit the patient's use of shared spaces, including the bathroom area if possible. If a second bathroom is not available, ensure that the room is properly disinfected before other household members use it.
 

4. Wear a mask properly.

When providing healthcare, both patient and caregiver should properly wear a surgical mask to lower the transfer of the virus. Additionally, these masks should be disposed of properly in a separate bin.
 

5. Have basic, over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate symptoms.

Provide medication that can help relieve symptoms such as sore throat, cough, muscle pain, fever, etc. Medicines should be taken as prescribed by the doctor to help put the patient at ease.
 
They may also be given vitamin supplements to help boost their immune system. Home treatments should aim to reduce the symptoms of the patient until they have fully recovered.
 

6. Avoid sharing personal items.

Those who have contracted the COVID-19 virus can contaminate surfaces and other things that come into contact with them. To avoid spreading the virus to others through fomite transmission, they should be provided with things they can personally use.
 
These include eating essentials like utensils and plates, clothes, bedding, shoes, sanitary products, personal items, gadgets, etc.
 

7. Monitor the patient's symptoms.

Keep a logbook of the patient's symptoms throughout the 14-day isolation period. Please note essential details such as their temperature, oxygen level, the severity or mildness of their symptoms over time, and other symptoms as they manifest. If the patient's symptoms continue to worsen, seek medical help immediately.
 

8. Practice good sanitation habits.

Regularly clean hard surfaces and items that come in contact with other members of the household. Use disinfectants or 70% alcohol to sanitize surfaces such as tables, remot controls, doorknobs, floors, etc. The patient and all other household members should also practice regular hand washing.
 

9. Increase fluid intake.

Several symptoms for COVID-19 contribute to dehydration and drains the body of essential nutrients it needs to recover. Keeping hydrated is critical for patients for a full recovery.
 
Provide the patient with a safe supply of clean drinking water suitable for the period of their isolation. Keep the water in a bottled container next to the patient's bed for them to access at any time.
 

10. Help with grocery shopping for necessities and medication.

Create a list of things to buy for the patient, including the necessary items during their isolation period. A few key things to include in this shopping list are boxes of tissue, pain medication, vitamins, sanitary products, and other prescribed medicines they may need to take.
 

11. Avoid alcohol and junk foods.

Ensure that the patient maintains a healthy diet during their recovery period. Increase their intake of fruit and vegetables and avoid dishes high in sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. The patient should avoid sodas and alcohol as well. The food provided should be properly washed and cooked thoroughly to at least 70°C.
 

​12. Practice no-touch policy.

When giving the patient food and other necessities, avoid person-to-person contact. Instead, place the items in a designated area of their room and step back as they retrieve them. This practice eliminates the risks of cross-contaminating the food and items and prevents the spread of the virus.
 

13. Provide a means of entertainment.

Isolation can often make a patient feel lonely or bored. To combat this, help entertain them during their quarantine period by providing laptops and tablets as these work great for patients to access movies and games to pass the time and communication platforms to speak with friends and loved ones.
 

Beating COVID-19 at home

Prioritizing health should be a top concern among individuals, especially during a global health crisis. Showing symptoms for COVID-19 can be alarming for anyone. If a person is experiencing severe symptoms of the virus, they should not hesitate to seek medical help immediately.
 
Do not hesitate to reach out to Makati Medical Center for teleconsultation, home and drive-through services, and emergency care at (+632) 8888 8999.