Internal medicine specialists said around 10% to 20% of their patients have died in the recent past as they allegedly lowered guard assuming full recovery. “Getting discharged is not the end of treatment. Patients need to periodically visit their doctor and keep monitoring all parameters for up to 4 months. We are issuing this advisory more often this time as the virus is wreaking havoc,” said Dr Manoj Purohit, internal medicine specialist.
Dr Purohit added around 80% of the patients had to be discharged with the advice to continue oxygen support at home.
The oxygen saturation level (SPO2) of such patients also remains between 90 and 93 for nearly a month after treatment. An SPO2 level of above 95% is considered good.
Increased heart rate around 100 to 110 has been seen in patients. “This should not go beyond this and if it shoots up to 120, urgently see a doctor,” he said.
Chest physician Dr Vinit Niranjane pointed out the change in norms due to which there is no record available. “There is no data, but post-Covid mortality remains undermined. Many Covid patients are shifted to different hospitals during the course of treatment. When they test RT-PCR negative, they are considered non-Covid even if they had been on ventilator during the infection. If patient comes out, it is counted as recovered,” he said.
Internal medicine expert Dr Mohan Nerker said at their hospital due care is taken to ensure patients and relatives are well aware of the risk factors. “We are getting a lot of referral patients and those treated at other places but needing re-admission with post Covid complications, especially those who had longer stay, needed O2 and ventilator beside being diabetic, pregnant or having renal issues,” he said.
Dr Nerker said they had been advising daily sugar level monitoring of recovered patients. “My team keeps counselling the patients. If patients need O2 at home, we ask them to use distilled water as humidifier,” he said.
Dr Niranjane added that those who had severe Covid pneumonia have increased anxiety level and fear of death. Their SPO2 level too takes a month or two to get restored.