Coronavirus is a major concern around the world, as it’s killing hundreds every day. Hospitals around the world are swamped. However, the ICU is not inevitable if you catch the virus. The vast majority of people are recovering at home.
Here’s what you should do to protect your family.
Know who’s at increased risk
People over age 60 are at highest risk of developing serious disease. Also, having other medical conditions increases risk -- especially cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Both are linked with obesity, so the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that heavier people should be more vigilant.
COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease, so anyone with lung problems should be careful. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema are all risk factors, according to the CDC.
People who have undergone organ transplants or who are immunocompromised can also be at higher risk of COVID-19 complications.
Symptoms to watch for
Fever and dry cough are the most common symptoms of COVID-19. However, they do not require immediate medical attention. Many people have diarrhea or loose stools.
Shortness of breath, significant headache, abdominal pain and severe fatigue in the first few days of illness may be red flags for serious COVID-19 illness. Trouble with breathing, eating and drinking are also red flags.
Call your physician for advice whether you should be admitted to a hospital.
Check your breathing by monitoring how many breaths you can take in a minute. If you’re taking 24, 26 or 30 breaths a minute, this is rapid shallow breathing. Normal breathing is 10-20 per minute. You should contact your doctor.
If you are worried, contact your doctor -- don’t visit. Telemedicine has become an important part of COVID-19 diagnosis -- to keep others safe.
Be vigilant the second week
Some patients start feeling better the first week, then suddenly take a turn for the worse. The downturn typically occurs between five to seven days into the illness. The downturn at this point can be rapid.
Bottom line: If a week or so into the illness, a high fever returns -- or the person suddenly feels short of breath -- get help immediately.
If you’re not too sick, stay home
Quarantine yourself from others in your home. Live in a separate room and avoid common spaces.
Wear a face mask or scarf to reduce risk of passing the virus to others.
Keep six feet apart.
Take acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Avoid Ibuprofen if you think you may have COVID-19
Apply cold compresses for fever
Try to sleep on your stomach to keep your lungs open
Drink warm beverages, stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest.
How SleepQuest Has Responded to COVID-19
In order to prevent any limitation to “access to care”, our patient centers are open, seeing patients by appointment only.
We have a telehealth platform for seeing patients virtually as well, to aid patients who are reducing travel outside their homes.
Rather than walk into one of our patient centers to pick up supplies, please contact us and we will have them shipped to any address provided at no additional cost.
Our cleaning procedures are already thorough at SleepQuest; however, we’re taking extra time to clean and disinfect so that our facilities remain a safe and welcome space for our patients and employees. Our dedicated team is wiping down and disinfecting all areas – tables, chairs, desks, handles, knobs, etc – on an hourly basis with extra vigilance.
We are providing our staff who are in direct contact with our patient’s disposable gloves and masks.
We have hand sanitizers placed all throughout our facilities.
We are reminding our staff to clean and wash all items before and after every appointment.
Our administrative employees are working from home and we have asked our Patient Center teams to use extra caution when evaluating their own personal health and staying home if they’re not feeling well.
What We Ask of You –
We ask if you’re not feeling well, please stay home! We want to make sure everyone is safe and healthy.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
SleepQuest Can Help
You can call SleepQuest at any time, to talk with a sleep specialist via video conferencing.
Our team is ready to answer all your questions to ensure your complete satisfaction with CPAP. DON'T HESITATE TO CONTACT US.
Our hearts go out to everyone around the world that has been affected by this pandemic. We cannot stress enough the importance of community and supporting each other during times of uncertainty. We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.