Useful insights from being a Covid attendant
While assisting Covid19 patient friend, realised, its not only challenging to find room at hospitals but also difficult for family members/attendants to manage logistics on a short notice. A lot has been written about virus & precautions. So sharing some thoughts for affected families.
If patient is a senior citizen or suffering of comorbidities, keep contact details of ambulance service, near by hospitals, a set of PPE kit & gloves handy. Some states have good support of 108 ambulance service but even national capital lacks it to deal with pandemic.
Prepare a contingency bag consisting of basics for the patient if he/she fails to respond to the medication during home isolation. Also, ensure to add documents of medical history, allergy details and copy of Aadhar card.
Contingency bag may contain ongoing medicines, test reports, phone charger, basic toiletries, a pair of extra clothes as per local climatic condition, comfortable footwear, headphone, book, pen & pad etc. But mind well, do not overstuff!
Accompanying members / friends have to be very cautious while managing admission process at hospital to avoid further jolt to the family. PPE kit ensures good protection at hospital in such times. Ensure to discard it after single use, as per the protocol.
Attendant has to go up to Emergency Covid ward as most hospitals are not equipped with right process & infrastructure yet. Also, one has to take rounds of pharmacy shop or blood bank. If PPE kit could not be managed, gloves and masks are easily available at or around hospitals.
Attendant has to fill up number of forms. After all, hospitals want all the assurances to avoid any conflicts in future as family/friends can’t visit patient during treatment.
Small but important tip: Carry your own pen! You don’t want to borrow it from hospital (I spotted one wrapped in bandage tape & it wasn’t white anymore). Use car bonnet or two wheeler seat instead of desk at hospital.
Ensure that patient is not carrying /wearing any valuables & metals (saves time for CT Scan). Advise patient only to call family periodically to keep track of the treatment instead of wasting time of Doctors & support staff in such times. However, trust what Doctor feels about condition.
If it's a planned hospitalisation, try to admit patient in off peak hours to avoid traffic and rush at the hospital for smooth admission & safety of attendant. Only one or maximum two attendants are enough. Stay calm & understand the pressure on healthcare workers.
If the hospitalization seems inevitable, start looking around recently recovered Covid19 patients in case hospital ask for plasma, though its success is debatable. You don’t want to take any chance with your near and dear ones’ life.
Attendants should follow the same drill that we practice at home after returning from work. Soak clothes in detergent and have a good shower immediately. Isolating attendant for few hours or days won’t harm.
It is not advisable to hoard oxygen cylinder but if family Doctor or Doctor in the family is around, it will help one to buy some time before hospitalization in case finding room or hospital takes longer. Avoid ferrying patient in/ on own vehicle unless it's critical.
One last thing. Every person has a different resilience / immunity. Do not get carried away by media reports, experts’ comments or opinions of family & friends. Just pray for wellbeing of the patient and everyone else while taking usual precautions against Covid19. Stay safe. more