Managing Co-morbidities Amidst COVID-19

11 Jul,20

COVID-19 has brought in a new age of social distancing and preventive measures for us. But the strain of responsibility is greater for people with co-morbid conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension or Cardiovascular Diseases. They need to take the utmost care of themselves and need to manage these conditions effectively while staying at home. Moreover, the constant worry of managing health during this COVID-19 pandemic, can also lead to stress, which can affect sleeping patterns, eating habits or lead to excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking, etc.  

For people with co-morbidities, if infected by COVID, their health can decline at a much faster rate than those who are completely healthy. For example, diabetic patients with COVID-19 are at a greater risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis due to rapid changes.  Fatality rates have been seen to increase during the pandemic and we can expect increase in this number in coming months until a viable vaccine is introduced. Hence, it has become more important to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, adrenal insufficiency, hypertension, chronic renal failure, chronic pulmonary disorders, chronic neurological disorders and cancers, to minimise their progression. Patients with such co-morbidities may also require specific health management strategies.

What you can do?

If anyone is sufferring from any such co-morbidity, here are some steps you can take, to be safe during these times:

  1. Stay indoors, refrain from moving out, unless absolutely necessary.

  2. Follow a basic daily routine like you used to follow before this COVID-19 crisis.

  3. Never forget your regular medications and always maintain a stock for insulin, blood pressure medicines and home health monitoring devices. 

  4. Practice regular exercise or physical activities. 

  5. Always maintain a healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, high fibre food items and low carbohydrate levels. Drink plenty of water and also reduce salt & sugar intake. 

  6. Manage stress by indulging yourself in your hobbies, meditation, etc. 

  7. Sleep properly to rejuvenate yourself.

  8. Always keep a check on your blood pressure & blood sugar numbers.

What we have brought for you? 

To make this COVID-19 period easier for people with co-morbidities, Sarvodaya Hospital & Research Centre, Sec-8, Faridabad, has adopted a tele-medicine facility that can be accessed from home. Tele-medicine or Teleconsultations are the way to survive through today’s situation when people are scared to step out of their homes, to avoid unnecessary exposure. Through this route we can help patients’ access primary & preventive care from home. It also helps us to filter and shortlist the more serious patients who might require/need hospitalization. Telemedicine also let doctors monitor symptoms, precautions and recommend tests when required. In reality, only a small percentage of OPD patients need direct visits to the hospital, while the rest can access medical care from home itself. Having said that, it is important to gauge the severity of the condition. For elective procedures as well, our specialists, do not recommend delaying treatment, as that could actually make the condition worse. 

This realisation came into force with this current period of the pandemic when people are more aware to stay at home and choose to go out only when it’s extremely necessary. Moreover, the enforced mass quarantine has made it difficult for non-COVID-19 patients to deal with their health issues due to limited accessibility. In such a situation, telemedicine helps us to screen such patients remotely, especially the ones with co-morbidities.  

In short, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a unique challenge for patients while accessing healthcare. It has definitely increased the chances of fatality for patients with co-morbidities. Hence, the best way to deal with this crisis is by accepting this new trend of telemedicine, which ensures the best health for all while maintaining absolute safety.