Kerala

Coronavirus | Health department orders hospital fever clinics to be converted to COVID clinics

A health worker collects nasal swab samples from a man for a COVID -19 test at a mobile lab at Palakkad. File   | Photo Credit: MUSTAFAH K.K.

 

In an attempt to provide better attention to patient care requirements during the pandemic, the Health department has issued orders converting all fever clinics in hospitals in the State to COVID clinics, which will provide necessary consultation, lab services and medicines for COVID-positive patients as per the State’s treatment protocols.

Till May 31, all Government hospitals have been asked to focus on managing COVID cases and to restrict non-COVID care to emergency services.

All taluk hospitals should provide oxygen beds to patients and wherever possible, arrange at least five beds with Bipap ventilators to provide oxygen support to patients who are referred from the field with oxygen requirement.

All COVID second line treatment centres (CSLTCs) are to be linked to taluk hospital.

The department has directed all hospitals, including primary and family health centres to ensure adequate stock of steroids and oral anti-coagulants. These hospitals are to refer to the home management advisory and take care of patients accordingly.

In the event that any bed-ridden patient becomes COVID-positive, oxygen concentrator may be arranged at home, to be followed up with home care as per the advisory. Also, palliative care volunteers or the Rapid Response Teams at panchayat-level should be contacted for providing necessary care and support to these patients.

The department has asked the tele-medicine units and counsellors under the district mental health programme to make sure that they get in touch with all patients on home care and isolation regularly and to ensure that their health status is followed up.

The department has again reiterated that private hospitals set aside 50 % of their beds for COVID patients and that they should try to increase the availability of oxygen beds and ICUs. Private hospitals have also been asked to start COVID Ops and to provide necessary treatment, advice and necessary investigations to patients.

No need for PPE kits?

The order issued by the Health department has suggested that it might be better for healthcare workers to move to disposable gowns, gloves, N95 masks and face shield, rather than PPE kits, when caring for COVID patients.

At the national and international level, healthcare workers are now using the disposable protective gear , rather than PPE kits for providing patient care, says the Principal Secretary (Health) in the GO.

However, rather than issue this as an order, the department has left the decision on this to healthcare workers themselves and has suggested that they discuss the matter at each hospital and take appropriate decision.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 2:24:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/coronavirus-health-department-orders-hospital-fever-clinics-to-be-converted-to-covid-clinics/article34520669.ece

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