What to do to Reduce the Post-ICU Sequelae from COVID-19?

The sequelae presented by a person who was in intensive care can vary and be more serious. We tell you some recommendations that you should take into account.

Person in Intensive Care Unit

COVID-19 has left millions of fatalities in its wake around the world, but those who have survived after being in intensive care also end up being long-term victims. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: ¿Qué cuidados tener para reducir las secuelas post-UCI por la COVID-19?

COVID-19 has left millions of fatalities all around the world, but those who have survived after being in intensive care also end up being long-term victims. Post-ICU Syndrome or PICS is a crisis that can affect people who have already left intensive care, but can present physical, respiratory, cardiac and even emotional sequelae.

Although a patient can be discharged after having gone through the ICU, it is very important that they continue under medical review and care, so that they do not relapse and can control (as far as possible) the sequelae and consequences that brings with it COVID-19. Taking into account that most of the sequelae that occur are associated with the respiratory and cardiac systems, it is extremely important that specialized therapies can be accessed that help the patient to get ahead. Likewise, it is important that, in case the sequelae persist, tests are carried out in order to rule out a condition that may be more serious.

Also read: Do You Have Diabetes? Learn How To Avoid COVID-19

Having specialized and constant care will allow the sequelae to be less prolonged and affect the patient to a lesser extent both in the short and long term. Likewise, good care will prevent the patient from having to return to intensive care, which is very good for the health system, since the places of care for other patients are not in use.

Home care

Before returning home, it is very important that the medical staff are completely sure that the patient can be discharged and is stable to receive slightly less specialized home care. The following must also be taken into account:

  • It is recommended that you have quick and easy access to skilled caregivers at home.
  • The patient must have a separate room from the rest of the family or people who live in the home.
  • Both the patient and the other members of the household must carefully comply with the biosecurity requirements .
  • It is preferable that, once the patient returns home, the rest of the members enter a state of isolation in order to avoid possible reinfections.
  • It is recommended to keep the mask on in common areas .
  • If there are people over 65 or pregnant women in the home, it is recommended that they keep their complete distance from the patient.
  • A good diet that increases the response of the immune system is vital. It is very important to follow the diet proposed by the discharging doctor to the letter.

After COVID-19, the sequelae can occur immediately or after weeks and even months, so it is very important to maintain the therapies assigned by the health professional who treated the patient, even if the sequelae are not very noticeable. 20% of people who go through ICU have Post-ICU Syndrome, and their quality of life is directly affected, that is why if you have access to the vaccine, it should be a priority, because although the vaccine does not imply immunity, it does significantly reduce the severity of symptoms.

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