“Most COVID-19 Cooperative Patients Can Be Managed Remotely. 80% need of healthcare providers and PPEs can be reduced”New Delhi, April 05, 2020:
BMJ Yes: Most patients with COVID-19 infection can be managed by phone or video chat.
Telephone management is adequate for patients with mild symptoms and uncomplicated infections. Video may be appropriate for sicker patients, those with comorbidities, those whose social circumstances have a bearing on the illness, and those who are very anxious. Patients who are hard of hearing may prefer video to telephone.
All patients need SPO2 monitor given that respiratory function can deteriorate quickly, particularly during the second week of infection.
Fever in patients with COVID-10 can exceed 38 C and last for longer than five days, although as many as half of infected patients have no fever at presentation.
Symptoms that are not indicative of COVID-19 infection include nasal congestion and allergy-like symptoms.
Patients with seasonal flu are more likely to have body aches, while shortness of breath is a hallmark of COVID-19. Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms may also be present, and infected patients also report loss of appetite and anosmia.
Urgent assessment in person or on video is needed for patients with “severe breathlessness or difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, blue lips or face, and a story suggestive of shock (such as cold and clammy with mottled skin, new confusion, becoming difficult to rouse, or significantly reduced urine output).
It is possible, however, to measure the respiratory rate via a good video connection. More generally, video may allow a more detailed assessment and prevent the need for an in-person visit.
Dr K K Aggarwal
President Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania