Home care COVID-19 helps patients monitor symptoms at home
DETROIT – With testing for COVID-19 being ramped up and expanded, more people are being diagnosed at earlier stages
The Henry Ford Health System Innovation Institute came up with the idea for a home care kit fairly early in the outbreak when it was clear that many people could avoid hospitalization if they just had a couple extra things at home -- and they are things you can get yourself.
The home care kit has starter supplies that anyone with coronavirus can use -- even if you have minimal symptoms.
The first step to caring for COVID-19 is keeping your germs to yourself. Masks are important for everyone to use, especially if you know you’re infected.
If you don’t already have a thermometer, there’s one in the kit. COVID-19 routinely causes a fever and checking it twice a day is an important step to self monitoring. If it’s consistently going higher, that could signal a complication like an additional infection, or simply worsening coronavirus. If your fever goes over 103 Fahrenheit, you should call your doctor.
Another thing in the box is Gatorade. You’ll clearly need more than the one bottle, but it provides an important reminder that high fevers lead to dehydration and to drink fluids
It also includes a home pulse oximeter, which painlessly measures both your pulse rate and the amount of oxygen your body has. Your oxygen saturation number on the monitor should be in the high 90% range. If it’s consistently in the lower 90, you should call your doctor.
The most important thing in the box is very low tech -- a log sheet for you to keep track of your temperature, pulse, oxygen level and symptoms twice a day. Knowing when your fever and other symptoms go away is important to determine recovery, and when you can come out of isolation.
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