December 11, 2020
Ana Cabello, Director of Nursing of our clinic, gives some recommendations on how to implement home care for people who leave hospitals after contracting COVID-19.
The coronavirus epidemic has put Intensive Care Units (ICU) as fundamental pillars for the survival of patients. Many patients have been discharged and taken home, where they must also receive special care, either temporarily because they are recovering from an injury or operation, or permanently due to a disease. Ana Cabello, Director of Nursing of our clinic, says that many families today find themselves in this complicated situation and try to provide a space to care for and help the bedridden patient.
The expert advises trying as much as possible to acquire a clinical bed. If it is not possible, put an inflatable mattress on top of a platform to facilitate patient comfort. “This will prevent ulcer lesions, bedsores caused by the continuous pressure of the latex, fabric, or synthetic mattress. The bed rubs the skin and as there is no vent there will be no blood supply due to lack of oxygen”, she explains. Also, you must be patient to change the patient’s position every two hours, to place pillows under the heels, in the inner thigh, and waist, and to moisturize them with a cream or virgin olive oil on the buttocks, back, arms and feet to avoid skin dehydration.
Cleanliness. Among the basic care that the patient requires is hygiene. According to Cabello, the diaper should be changed frequently to avoid scalding. Also, when cleaning you should use a sponge, warm water, glycerin soap (not wet wipes because they contain alcohol and can damage the genitals). When drying the patient with a towel, do not scrub, but make small touches.
Nutrition. A very important issue in bedridden patients is diet, as nutrient deficiencies often increase. The diet should be varied, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Sometimes a supplementary nutritional intake is necessary.
Therapies. If possible, move the patient using a wheelchair and do limb massage and rehabilitation.
Director of Nursing at Clínica Ricardo Palma