When to Go to the Hospital for COVID-19: Signs You Need Emergency Treatment

when to go to the hospital for covid

With the spread of COVID-19, more and more people wonder when to go to the hospital. This is a valid question, as it can be difficult to know when you need emergency treatment. This blog post will discuss signs that you need to go to the hospital for COVID. Keep in mind that these symptoms can also indicate other illnesses, so if you are experiencing any of them, please consult a doctor immediately!

  • COVID-19: An Overview
  • At-Home Coronavirus Treatment
  • COVID-19: What to Expect
  • How Do you know if you’re Getting Worse?
  • When to go to the Doctor
  • Emergency Medicine: Visiting Healthcare Systems

 

 

COVID-19: An Overview

Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections ranging from mild to lethal.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. It was first isolated from three people with pneumonia connected to the cluster of acute respiratory illness cases in Wuhan. All structural features of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus particle occur in related coronaviruses in nature.

COVID‑19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles containing the virus. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are nearby, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if splashed or sprayed with contaminated fluids in the eyes, nose, or mouth and, rarely, via contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to 20 days and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms.

At-Home Coronavirus Treatment

By now, you’ve heard the advice. Stay home. Practice social distancing. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or cough into your elbow. Wash your hands. Schedule to be vaccinated. But if you still show symptoms of getting this virus, what should you do?

If your symptoms are mild and your immune system is strong, the chances are that your provider will advise you to treat your symptoms at home with over-the-counter medications. Your provider will encourage you to stay away from other people, including those in your own household, for 14 days or longer to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.

If your symptoms are mild enough that you can recover at home, you should:

  • Rest. It can help you feel better and aid your recovery.covid treatment at home
  • Stay home. Avoid going to work, school, and other public places.
  • Drink fluids. When you’re sick, you lose more water. Dehydration can exacerbate symptoms and lead to additional health issues.
  • Monitor. If your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor immediately. Please don’t go to their office unless you call ahead of time. They may advise you to stay at home or take additional precautions to safeguard personnel and other patients.
  • OTC drugs. Over-the-counter medications that may help include acetaminophen to reduce your fever. If your symptoms don’t seem to improve or get worse, contact your doctor right away.

The most important thing to do is avoid infecting other people, especially those over 65 or who have other health problems.

That means:

  • Consider staying in one specific location at home. If feasible, use a separate bedroom and bathroom.
  • Tell others you’re sick, so they keep their distance.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you can. The CDC recommends using a well-fitting respirator mask (like N95s and KN95s). These provide better protection than other masks.
  • Wash regularly, especially your hands.
  • Don’t share dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with anyone else.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, counters, and tabletops.

COVID-19: What to expect

The symptoms begin two to fourteen days after becoming infected. The majority of individuals who have mild infections recover in 2 weeks. More severe instances tend to last 3 to 6 weeks.

Talk to your doctor about how long you should isolate yourself if you have symptoms. CDC guidelines say you can leave isolation when all of these are true:

  • You haven’t had a fever for 24 hours.
  • Your respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or shortness of breath, are better.
  • It’s been at least five days since your symptoms began.

How do you Know if you’re Getting Worse?

In the age of COVID, deciding when to visit the hospital or obtain medical treatment may be difficult. Even when it’s essential, you might feel hesitant to go.

emergency care for covidKeeping oneself healthy means reacting to health concerns as they arise. This includes seeing your primary care physician, perhaps via telemedicine, or going to urgent care or emergency room (ER) when needed. Knowing when it is appropriate to take action may be difficult. It’s critical to understand the symptoms of a medical emergency.

This COVID-19 pandemic emphasizes and gives credit to the continuity of consciousness. It’s important to know what sorts of services are available for persons with COVID symptoms in an ER and how to identify serious COVID symptoms, so you don’t have to go to the emergency department.

Knowing when you need to go to the hospital to get your COVID symptoms checked is of utmost importance. Experiencing life-threatening symptoms is already an indication to seek help.

When to go to the Doctor

If you test positive to COVID-19 and have moderate or relatively mild symptoms, it does not necessarily mean a trip to the emergency department is needed. As mentioned earlier, most people who have COVID-19 experience mild symptoms that can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines and rest.

Do not get us wrong; not all emergency cases are related to COVID. Some patients may experience life-threatening emergencies that need immediate medical care. Symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or fainting
  • Signs of confusion or can’t be woken up
  • Lips or face turning blue
  • Severe and persistent pain
  • Sudden, uncontrolled bleeding
  • Digestive issues (vomiting or diarrhea)
  • Coughing up blood

On the other hand, some people, particularly those who have underlying conditions, may experience more serious symptoms of COVID that do require treatment at a hospital. These severe symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath while at rest
  • Dry cough, fever, breathing getting more difficult
  • Significant or worrisome cough that is increasing
  • Confusion or sudden change in mental status
  • Chest pain
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Extreme sleepiness or inability to wake
  • Blue face or lips

Emergency medical care

Urgent care centers can offer immediate care for many conditions. Some can even offer telemedicine. Common conditions treated at urgent care centers include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Broken bones
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Concussion symptomshospital care for covid
  • Cuts requiring stitches
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Insect bite
  • Mild fevers
  • Minor burns
  • Pink eye
  • Sprains and strains

If you feel moderate symptoms of COVID, you can ask for a telemedicine consultation. Everyone with COVID-19 is at risk for developing serious complications, but your risk increases if you have certain medical conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes

When to go to the hospital for COVID? If you have mild to moderate symptoms, and, after having been tested positive with COVID-19, you feel like this virus aggravates your condition, do not hesitate to go straight to your healthcare provider or hospital for emergency care.

References:

https://www.stlukesonline.org/health-services/service-groups/covid-resources/when-to-go-to-the-hospital-for-covid-19

https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/managing-medical-conditions/getting-care/when-to-go-to-the-hospital

https://www.webmd.com/lung/covid-treatment-home-hospital#1

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/covid-19/when-to-go-to-the-hospital-for-covid

https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2020/03/when-do-you-need-hospitalization-for-coronavirus/

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