When should a Covid-19 patient request hospitalization? Take a 6-minute walking test, says your doctor

If there is a fluctuation in oxygen levels of 4% or more before and after 6 minutes of walking, then it may be necessary to be hospitalized.

As hospitals remain bedridden with a sharp increase in the number of patients with Covid-19 requiring medical admission, doctors urge people not to panic if the RT-PCR test is positive and not to request hospitalization when it is not necessary. Most positive Covid-19 patients are cured under treatment at home, said a video message posted by the Indian government’s citizen engagement platform based on suggestions from Dr. CS Pramesh, director, Tata Memorial Hospital.

In addition to good nutrition, plenty of fluids, yoga, pranayam, covid-positive patients should monitor their fever and oxygen levels. For an accurate understanding of oxygen levels, a six-minute walking test is suggested if a patient needs to read oxygen before and after six minutes of walking in their isolation rooms. This test can be taken 2-3 times a day, the video says. If these readings are normal, then there is no need for hospitalization.

Hospitalization is required if

> basic saturation on oximeter is below 94%

> there is a fluctuation of 4% or more in the oxygen level before and after 6 minutes of walking

In such cases, when the oxygen level is below 94%, it should lie face down on the abdomen to improve the oxygen level in the blood.

In terms of medication, if a patient has no symptoms other than fever, then only paracetamol is needed.

The director of AIIMS, Dr. Ramdeep Guleria, said that more than 85% of covis patients will recover without any specific treatment. “Oxygen is a treatment, it is like a medicine. There is no data to show that this will be helpful for patients and therefore it is poorly advised,” he said, adding that healthy people with oxygen saturation in the interval 93-94 percent do not need to take high-flow oxygen to maintain the optimal level of saturation.

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