There is an army of doctors and scientists searching for a new vaccine, treatments that work, and a cure for COVID-19. We now have a couple of vaccines with emergency use permits being delivered to certain segments of the population. But, that is only the start of defeating this pandemic. There is a real need for better, more effective treatment plans to help the millions of people that are still contracting this disease and suffering.
One Expert’s Modern Approach to COVID-19 Recovery
Geoff Fraser is a part-owner of a facility in Florida called Dolphin Point with 146 beds. This facility is the first one in Florida to care for contagious virus patients only from nursing homes. These are people who were not ill enough to stay in the hospital but still were contagious. If returned to their care facilities, they could infect other residents. This type of care option frees hospital beds for the more seriously ill patients as hospitals are getting strained by the pandemic numbers.
This facility has partnered with Florida state hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities, informing them of their service and treatment availability. The patients can be transferred from their care center to Dolphin Point in as little as 24 hours. They are treated until they are free of the virus and no longer contagious. Then they can be returned to their assisted-living center. This is made possible by a Florida rule of not sending patients testing positive back to their nursing homes until they are no longer contagious, saving the other nursing home residents from infection risk.
What Makes This Treatment Plan Work?
A staff of dedicated, well-trained nurses who are supplied with large amounts of personal protective supplies is at the heart of the success. Then very extensive steps are taken to stop virus spread and protect both the patients and the staff. The facility has a decontamination room and robotics that use UV lights to kill the virus. There is also extensive use of disinfectants for sterilization in rooms.
The modern treatment approach for each patient involves starting every day with their vital signs being taken and an assessment of their respiratory functions. Medications are administered as needed and then patients are bathed and groomed. Physical therapy is administered as needed. Because no in-person visits are allowed, patients are given opportunities to visit with loved ones on the phone and FaceTime virtual visits. This has a positive effect.
If they are able, patients are encouraged to get out of bed and sit in chairs while watching TV, reading, or other activities. They believe that emotional well-being is an important part of the successful treatment of the virus. When a patient is tested two times with negative results and an antibody test with good results, they are released after 10 days being symptom-free. They then return safely to their assisted-living homes.
Doctor’s Advice For Patients Recovering From Coronavirus
Determining the point at which a patient is recovered fully from COVID-19 is not a sure thing and more information and experience are needed. There are some general federal guidelines, but many physicians are not comfortable with what information they have. This is because scientists do not yet have a complete picture of the transmission and progress of this new COVID-19 and how much it is limited by a sick person at different stages of the infection. A shortage of testing equipment nation-wide has hampered scientists’ research on the spread of the virus and how to prevent it.
Scientists and doctors need to know when and how long people can spread the virus, especially those who are asymptomatic. This is especially important because approximately 25% of people who test positive for this virus do not show symptoms. People who do develop symptoms might have been spreading COVID-19 for up to 48 hours already. In addition, it is believed that some patients who recover from COVID-19 might continue to be contagious. But, which ones and for how long?
Each person’s case depends on their general health, underlying conditions, their lifestyle, and where they work. A person who works in an industry like health care where they work with High-risk people may need to self-quarantine for longer. There must be a good balance between patients returning to their daily life and the prevention of disease transmission.
Doctors advise both the recovered patient and those around them to practice social distancing, wear masks, and use frequent hand-washing and good hygiene. Sanitizing items being handled can also help.
The people who have had COVID-19 and recovered should not be ostracized or stigmatized. Taking the normally recommended precautions will prevent transmission of the virus. Doctors advise to people with COVID-19, or who think they might have it, includes:
1. Wear a mask when around other people to curb the spread.
2. Practice social distancing and avoid touching other people.
3. Handwashing often is essential because of the times people touch their faces. Assume that every surface that is touched may have the virus on it. Washing the hands gets rid of the virus and stops its spread.
4. Limit the exposure to other people so the virus is not spread to them. If a person thinks they have been exposed or may have COVID-19, they should self isolate and get tested.
5. If health professionals call to tell a person they have been exposed to someone with the virus, they should cooperate fully so the professionals can track down everyone who may have been exposed and test them.
6. Make every effort to protect the children from exposure and have them wear masks. Children are often asymptomatic but still in danger of spreading the virus to others.
7. Everyone should get a flu shot so that they don’t get the flu and further tax the health care system during this pandemic. There is some belief that a flu shot might help limit the severity of the pandemic as well as preventing flu. A severe flu season on top of this severe pandemic would be disastrous for the health care system and the American people. If a person has the virus, they should get good medical help.
If every person does their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19, it can be stopped. Scientifically proven ways to slow the spread include sanitizing surfaces often, wearing a mask, keeping a 6-foot social distance, wash hands often, get tested, and get medical treatment.