Beware of self-medication, late hospital presentation

Late presentation, self-medication are among the main factors for the high COVID-19 death rate across the central region.

The district administrations has increased surveillance and set up fever camps to identify cases in their early stages in an attempt to reduce the death rate.

In Tiruchi, where an average of 10 deaths are reported per day, the district administration is pulling all the stops to trace cases at an early stage. While the corporation has organised 36 fever camps across the 65 wards daily, the Department of Public Health is conducting fever surveys. Volunteers and health workers are going door-to-door to test a patient’s well-being equipped with temperature guns and pulse oximeters.

According to S. Ram Ganesh, Deputy Director of Health Services, late presentation is the chief cause of the increasing death rate. To keep a check on cases and to ensure early medical intervention, all blocks in Tiruchi rural have established a triage centre. Block-level health officers test the patient and if they have oxygen saturation between 90 to 94 without co-morbidities, they are advised admission at COVID Care Centres or home isolation.

Only patients with co-morbidities and dipping oxygen levels will be taken the nearest government hospital.

Mirroring his thoughts, A. Liakath Ali, District Epidemiologist, Nagapattinam district says early intervention is the key. He also notes that a decline in cases will reflect in the death rate only after 14 days. “The deaths reflecting in the reports right now are patients who tested positive earlier. The numbers will soon go down.”

Another senior health official cites two other important reasons. “Patients try to self-medicate, take antibiotics and other such medicines instead of visiting a doctor as soon as they experience COVID-19 symptoms. By the time they get to a doctor, it is too late.”.

Also, private hospitals send patients to the District Headquarters Hospital in the later stages. “These hospitals keep the patients until it is too late and then pack them off to government facilities when they cannot help. We get several brought-dead cases because of this. Patients whose oxygen levels dip to alarming levels must not be moved around at all,” he points out.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 11:24:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/beware-of-self-medication-late-hospital-presentation/article34773456.ece

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