COVID-19 patients on home care should not take Remdesivir: AIIMS doctors

PTI, May 15, 2021, 8:03 PM IST

New Delhi:  COVID-19 patients on home care should not take Remdesivir medication and they should get admitted at a hospital if the oxygen level drops below 94, AIIMS doctors advised on Saturday.

The doctors were addressing a webinar on ”Medication and Care in Home Isolation” for COVID-19 patients.

“Remdesivir should never be taken at home. Positive attitude and regular exercise are a must for patients in home isolation, said Dr Neeraj Nishchal of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Dr Manish, also from AIIMS, said if the oxygen level goes below 94, patients should be admitted, adding that while checking oxygen level, age of the patient and other chronic diseases should be kept in mind.

Dr Neeraj, however, said that 80 per cent of infected patients experience very mild symptoms and suggested a repeat RT-PCR rest if the first test report comes negative.

“If the RT-PCR test comes out to be negative, but symptoms are present, it is recommended to go for another test. Whether hospitalization is required is to be decided based on the intensity of the disease,” he said.

The doctors also advised that medications must be taken in the proper quantity and at the right time.

“Knowing about the medicine is not enough. Patients should also know how and when they are to be taken, only then would it prove to be beneficial,” said Dr Neeraj.

The decision of home isolation for patients above 60 years and with comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic ailments related to kidneys and lungs, should be taken only after consulting doctors, they said.

The commonly observed symptoms among COVID-19 patients are fever, dry cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell. Irritation in throat, headache, body ache, diarrhoea, rash on skin and redness in eyes are also observed in rare cases.

“If you observe any of these symptoms, you should immediately isolate yourself from others,” Dr Neeraj said.

Suggesting measures COVID-19 patients need to take to manage the infection, the doctors said sanitisation, cleanliness, use of medical grade masks and taking medicines on time are essential.

“We should plan for daily essentials and prepare a list of contact numbers for health-related information, health workers, hotlines, etc. Along with this, contact numbers of friends, other family members and neighbours should also be kept handy for emergency situations. Proper care and planning should be done also for the children in the family,” Dr Neeraj said.

Doctors said that mild and asymptomatic patients should be kept in home isolation.  Such patients should take utmost care to keep safe distance from other family members, especially children.

It was advised that positive patients should always wear three-layered masks which should be discarded after proper sanitization every eight hours.

“Patient and caregiver both should wear N-95 masks while interacting with each other,” the doctor said.

The AIIMS doctors also advised that pulse oximeters should be used to monitor oxygen levels in the body, very carefully.

“Artificial nails or nail polish should be removed before use and the patient’s hand should be warmed if it is cold. Take rest for at least five minutes before testing. If the observation is constant for five seconds, the figure indicates oxygen level in your body,” doctors said.

Informing about the use of Ivermectin and Paracetamol, Dr Manish said that their use depends on the immunity level and other patient-specific conditions so one should take medicines only as prescribed by the doctors.

While informing about the medicines taken to fight COVID-19, he said, many patients insist on the use of Azithromycin, but the guidelines clearly discourage the use of these tablets.

“Same instructions are given about Revidox. It is not recommended to use Revidox in home isolation,” said the doctor.

During the discussion, both experts clearly said that no medication should be taken during home isolation without consulting doctors.

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