July 7, 2020 (IANSlife) India has witnessed a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases within the last few weeks; and while most citizens have grown used to working from home, medical emergencies can strike anytime.
It is important that housing societies and resident welfare associations (RWAs) be equipped to handle COVID-19 cases amongst its residents, for a short period of time, till medical aid is made available and the patient is hospitalized, says Dr Rahul Pandit, Director-Critical Care, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
The average time to get to a hospital bed is now a few hours. In such cases, if a patient requires oxygen support then precious time may be lost while making hospitalization-related arrangements.
Hence, society members, housing societies and resident welfare associations should maintain a contingency plan that bridges the gap for patients, i.e. for a few hours, till the patient is hospitalized.
Dr Pandit suggests the following contingency measures.
How to maintain this designated in-house facility?
The idea behind this is, if any resident of a society showcases any symptoms of COVID19 and is short of breath, then he or she can be shifted at this allocated area, where temperature and oxygen saturation is monitored. If oxygen saturation is low, below 95 percent, supplemental oxygen can be administered to the patient via nasal cannula or oxygen mask at 4-5Lit/Min using the oxygen concentrator.
This however, is only a stop gap arrangement until a hospital bed is arranged. This is by no means a solution to stay there for more than a few hours, but simply a place to get basic care and oxygen until a hospital bed is arranged.
Last but not the least, do not stigmatise patients who have symptoms of, or have tested positive for COVID-19; this is a treatable infection and ostracization of people only adds to the family’s woes. Also, celebrate those who have beaten the infection, Dr Pandit concludes.
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