Moving a hospital into the home

The Girish family recently lost their 64-year-old father. Though they would continue to grapple with a deep sense of loss for a long time to come, the fact that they were with him through his last days should be a tad comforting.

The family established a mini-hospital at their home in T. Nagar.

“The last one year was tough for him. He fell and broke his hip and was semi-comatose. Doctors had lost hope and asked us to keep him at home,” says Krutika Girish, daughter-in-law of the deceased.

A hospital-at-home was set up with the family hiring various equipment from a rental service provider, Rent-a-Cure.

The room had an alpha bed, a mattress, an air bed, a five-litre oxygen concentrator, a table-top oxygen pulse meter, a mini-pharmacy and a nurse for assistance.

“Our doctors advised us that he would be prone to more infection in the hospital, and giving him a homely atmosphere with love and care from family members was a better option,” says Krutika.

As hospitals would have people with COVID-19 as patients, an increasing number of families are opting for home-based treatment of their loved ones, to cut out the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Jaichitra Ramakrishnan’s 90-year-old father-in-law met with a freak accident at home and instead of hospitalising him, the family chose to set up a care unit at home.

“This was a better option than having him admitted in a hospital, and so, we rented a medical cot, mattress and a few other devices for one-and-a-half months, with a doctor offering him tele-consultation,” says Jaichitra.

Dr. Robin Jeya Bensam, CEO, Robin Hospitals, which provides occupational health services, says home health care has been ramped up during the pandemic as visits to hospitals did bring with it some degree of risk for those in the vulnerable category.

“As per most studies, 85% of patients with mild symptoms can be treated at home, 10% need a hospital ward and the remaining an ICU,” says Dr. Robin.

Apart from cost benefits, Dr. Robin points out, a patient gets more rest sleeping in a familiar environment and can even recover faster with the care of family members. Most important of all, during the pandemic, providing hospital care at home can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially for vulnerable patients.

COVID care at communities

Recently, the Federation of OMR Residents Association had an online discussion with a panel of doctors to understand what it means to establish in situ COVID Care Centres at gated communities to tackle another severe wave, were it to arise.

In Bengaluru, the Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike allowed apartment resident welfare associations to set up community-level COVID care centres within their gated communities. In many of the societies, common areas like the clubhouse or party hall were turned into isolation rooms with beds fitted with oxygen supply.

Home care service providers extended their reach by offering the service of a doctor or a nurse; diagnostic kits and other medical equipment.

Such measures are said to reduce the burden on hospitals and also make treatment more affordable.

Medical equipment providers say they are getting a lot of enquiries from individuals and apartment associations looking at investing in emergency medical aid. On top of the list are oxygen concentrator and BiPAP.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 2:44:15 PM |

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