For the majority of people who catch COVID-19, symptoms will be mild and will pass without the need for intervention. Yet for those who develop more severe COVID-19 symptoms, the virus can lead to hospitalization and the need for medical treatment.
Being a respiratory condition, COVID-19 can lead to shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. This can be a scary prospect, but thankfully medical experts know more about COVID-19 than ever before including the best ways to reduce fatalities. Here we explore these different treatments and what you can expect if you or your loved ones do have to enter hospital as a result of COVID-19.
What happens when admitted to a hospital for COVID-19?
Upon being admitted to hospital for COVID-19 infection, doctors will check the following:
- Oxygen levels in your blood using a clip on your finger
- Listen to your lungs with a stethoscope
- Conduct a chest x-ray or cat scan
What drugs are approved to treat COVID-19?
Remdesivir has been the one drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 since the pandemic first started. However, Remdesivir is only administered in cases where people have been hospitalized or are at risk of hospitalization. This drug was first developed for the treatment of Ebola and has been shown to be safe.
There are several infusion therapies that have been granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) by the FDA. These include bamlanivimab, etesevimab, casirivimab, and imdevimab. All of these are designed to be given as outpatient treatments in cases that don’t require hospitalization.
What happens in the most severe COVID-19 cases?
If you are having trouble breathing you may be given oxygen to support your breathing. Initially, you will be fitted with a nasal mask that pumps oxygen into the lungs via the nostrils. If the case worsens you will be intubated and oxygen will be delivered by a ventilator machine. If your case is considered severe, you may be given extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in which an external machine does the work normally done by the lungs and the heart.
Early on in the pandemic, it was thought that steroids might play a role in the treatment of COVID-19. Dexamethasone, a powerful anti-inflammatory, has been used in hospitals to help calm the immune system in response to COVID-19, but the evidence of its effectiveness is patchy and if given at the wrong time can make matters worse.
How to avoid hospitalization from COVID-19
The advice is clear on ways to reduce your risk of being hospitalized by COVID-19:
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a mask when in public space or around people not from your household
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
Above all, making sure you get the COVID-19 vaccine when offered as it will boost your chances of avoiding even mild symptoms of COVID-19.
Countries around the world are beginning to vaccinate their citizens against Coronavirus in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We believe letting people know you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step in overcoming the virus. Once you have the vaccine you can buy your wristband here and let the world know you’re helping defeat COVID-19.