When should one be hospitalized for Covid-19? Health Ministry lists warning signs

Amid the shortage of ICU beds and oxygen supply, wondering if you should be hospitalized or not? Here are the signs you should know.

As India continues to grapple with the Covid-19, with record-breaking daily case numbers, things seem to take a turn for the worse. Amid the worsening situation, the Union Health Ministry has listed the warning signs and symptoms that could help those infected with the virus to identify if they should be hospitalized. The Ministry said that the patients should be hospitalized if their oxygen level is falling, experiencing extreme fatigue or chest pain.

These Signs Indicate Covid-19 Patients Should Get Hospitalized

PTI recently quoted Dr Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), "falling oxygen saturation (below 93), excessive fatigue or chest pain are warning signs indicating that a patient in home isolation may need hospitalisation. Thus, such patients should stay in touch with a doctor and high-risk group people having comorbidities also need to take special care."

The ministry pointed out these signs and symptoms in the light of the deteriorating condition, overwhelming health facilities due to the massive surge in coronavirus patients and shortage of ICU beds and oxygen supply. Earlier, the Union Health Ministry released the revised guidelines regarding the home isolation of mild and asymptomatic cases of the Covid infection.

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People With Mild Symptoms Should Continue Self-Isolation

Under the revised guidelines, the Health Ministry asked people infected with Covid-19 to confine themselves to self-isolation if they experience mild symptoms. According to the report, mild cases include patients who are experiencing respiratory tract symptoms or fever, without shortness of breath and with more than 94 per cent oxygen saturation at room air.

In the second wave of coronavirus, it has been noticed a sudden dip in their oxygen levels. For the unversed, oxygen saturation refers to the percentage of oxygenated haemoglobin in the blood transported from the lungs to other organs of the body. Healthy levels of oxygen saturation above 94 are considered healthy, whereas oxygen level below 90 is a warning sign that the health is worsening, indicating that one should seek medical help.

Dr Guleria was quoted saying, "Oxygen is an important treatment strategy for COVID-19, but misuse of it is also an important factor. If your oxygen saturation is 92, 93, 94, 95, or over 96 it means that there is sufficient oxygen in your body (blood) and enough oxygen is reaching your organs."

Things You Should Be Careful About When In Self-Isolation

In the report, the ministry highlighted that people exercising home isolation should be mindful of certain things, including:

  • Be in a well-ventilated room with windows open to allow fresh air to come in
  • Patients in self-isolation should wear a triple-layered medical mask, which should be disposed of after 8 hours after disinfecting it with 1 per cent of Sodium Hypochlorite
  • Drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated and take a lot of rest
  • Follow necessary precautionary measures, including frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 40 seconds
  • Make sure you self-monitor your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter
  • Ensure that the surfaces of the room are clean
  • Self-monitor your health by monitoring your temperature regularly

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