Kerala doctor who treated UK national critically ill with Covid has this advice for elderly
Saturday 11 April 2020 1:45 AM UTC
By Balagopal Kent
LONDON April 11: Brian Neil, a 57 year old British national, was admitted with severe COVID-19 pneumonia symptoms at the Ernakulam Medical College on 15th March 2020 after disembarking him from his onward flight to the UK at Nedumbassery international airport.
He was admitted at the Ernakulam Medical College along with his wife Mrs Jane Lockwood who was later discharged as her repeated samples were tested negative for COVID-19.
Brian too recovered from the illness and got discharged the first week of April. (Click To Read Full Article By Clicking Here: “British national critically ill with Covid gets treated in Kerala: Thanks Kerala govt and health sector”)
Brian was treated at the Ernakulam Medical College by the multidisciplinary team headed by Professor Dr Fathahudeen, Professor Dr Jacob K Jacob, Dr Ganesh Mohan, Dr Geetha Nair, Dr. Vidhukumar, Dr. Vibha Santhosh and Dr Renimol, under the supervision of principal Dr Thomas Mathew.
With death rates of elderly people soaring in the UK, this website contacted Professor Dr Fathahudeen to seek advise and guidance for those who have elderly people living with them or whom they care for.
Although NHS England is the first point of call for anyone living in Britain in regards to concerns about Covid we sought to find out what possibly we could learn, apart from medicines, in regards to habits and way of life to fight Covid-19.
Professor Dr A Fathahudeen is a Consultant Pulmonologist with the Government of Kerala for the last 20 years. He holds an MBBS and an MD in Pulmonary Medicine. His specialism include Cardiology – Heart Care Speciality Frontiers in Asthma and specialization in Allergy, Chest Disease Specialty, Pulmonary Medicine.
Excerpts from an interview with Prof Dr A Fathahudeen.
How can we protect our elderly?
See, the only way to protect the elderly is to keep them indoors all the time and no one from outside such as house maids, home nurses and neighbours from next door should be allowed to visit or come anywhere near them.
So, who should take care of them?
Their immediate relatives like sons or daughters or grand children should preferably nurse the elderlies.
What are the protection they should take when they are near to elderly people?
All of them including the elderlies should preferably wear masks all the time including during sleep especially when they share your bed or when kids are around.
What about their medications?
They have to continue their regular medications for control of blood pressure and diabetes. If they are asthmatic they should not discontinue the inhalers and in fact enhance the inhaler use.
The elderlies should have their regular flu jabs and pneumococcal vaccine if they are diabetic, asthmatic or suffering from cardiovascular or kidney diseases.
What other precautions?
Always wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitizer before and after touching the elderly.
What about children approaching the elderly?
As far as possible no small kids and children should visit their grandparents as the children are silent carriers without showing absolutely no symptoms and they possibly could be super-spreaders and can have high viral loads.
What about if someone is in quarantine staying in a house where there is an elderly person?
If anybody is home quarantined in the same house where elderlies are staying he/she should confine himself in his room and at no times should come out and mingle with elderlies and always should wear an N95 mask.
He/she should keep his/her plates for eating and keep household articles such as towel and bed sheets for himself separately and wash separately and the common washing machine should never be used for washing his/her clothes.
What about home conditions?
As for as possible keep all the windows open allowing free air circulation and avoid using air conditioners.
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