The pillars of the Indian medical services are being held by the frontline workers, vaccines, Remdesivir, ICUs, oxygen beds and plasma donors. Pharmacies have stocked out, black markets have bloomed and unfortunately, the common man has been crippled. Hoarding up of certain drugs and oxygen cylinders has become a deadly trend. And some of the people are panic buying these. However, you should know when you’re going to need Remdesivir, oxygen cylinders, Nebulisers, Fabiflu.
Do I need Remdesivir if I have a fever and cough ?
Dr. Sahil Srivastava, a leading Cardiologist in Aligarh explains, “Remdesivir is required only for serious patients who are admitted in hospitals and ICUs and not for household usages during a normal fever.” Remdesivir works by decreasing the recovery time in patients suffering from COVID-19. However, if you have a fever, cough and cold and you are under home isolation, then Remdesivir is not at all required for your recovery, unless and until prescribed by a doctor. “Please don’t take even a single dose of it thinking that it might help cure corona. It is a course of six doses, administered in the patient in a highly moderated manner. Do not hoard it for your personal use”, adds Dr.Srivastava.
When should oxygen cylinders, concentrators or Nebuliser be used?
It is advised not to use oxygen cylinders for patients experiencing mild COVID symptoms. “Please monitor your SpO2 levels, 98-100 is normal. Anything below 90 should be immediately looked at. That is when you should use oxygen cans or cylinders. I have seen patients using it even when they have a blocked nose. I request you not to do that”, advises Dr. Atul Mehrotra, a Pulmonologist based in Lucknow.
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Also Nebulisers and oxygen concentrators should be used cautiously. A patient must undergo CT (HRCT) scan to understand if the infection has reached the lungs or not. “Nebulisers, cylinders or Nebulisers are to be used if the patient’s CT scan report shows ground glass opacification in the lungs parenchyma, low SpO2 and breathlessness”, explains Dr. Mehrotra.
When should I take medicines for COVID-19?
COVID medicines are not to be used as a precautionary measure by normal people. Those experiencing mild to high fever, loss of smell and taste and cough should only take it. Stocking of any medicine should be avoided.
How can I use an oxygen cylinder at home?
Those experiencing breathlessness can use oxygen cylinders at home and regularly monitor their SpO2 by using the following method. “Oxygen cylinders come fitted with a valve on the top. The valve has a bull (a hole where the pipe is connected). Then it comes along with a FA valve regulator consisting of a humidifier bottle. The FA valve has a nozzle (called a nose). Fit this nose into the bull and tighten it by a wrench in clockwise direction. Make sure it is tight. Now fill the humidifier bottle (which looks like a water bottle) with plain tap water up to the top. Tighten the bottle on to assembly. Fit the pipe and the mask into the nozzle next to the humidifier bottle and tighten. Now the cylinder has two regulators nobs(black regulator wheels). Open the top regulator slowly and then open the lower one by loosening it anti-clockwise. Place the mask on the patient’s nose and monitor his oxygen regularly”, explains Dr. Mehrotra.