Ventilators aren’t the only kind of respiratory aid that can help patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19. Other FDA-approved equipment ranges from muscle stimulators to nerve stimulators designed to work in conjunction with mechanical ventilation. That can mean better results for patients who have access to multiple modes of treatment.
The FDA has authorized emergency usage of a procedure called blood purification, which is just what it sounds like: blood is circulated through an external filtering device that reduces disease agents as well as runaway immune response chemicals that can harm patients.
Continuous renal replacement therapy
In severe cases, COVID-19 can cause organ failure, including of the kidneys. Because of that, the FDA has approved the use of dialysis technology to help support patients with diminished kidney function.
For people with mild symptoms of COVID-19, health care professionals advise isolating at home to recover—the same as you would for a confirmed case of flu, but with even more social precautions. That means staying hydrated, taking over-the-counter pain relievers or fever reducers like Tylenol, and a continuous supply of surface-disinfecting cleaning products.
Successful treatment requires hospital capacity
The Atlantic’s Ed Yong reports that hospitals are at risk of capacity collapse during a third surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s partly because, healthcare workers say, these patients “require twice as much attention as a typical intensive-care-unit patient, for three times the normal length of stay.” The best way to keep more patients out of hospitals is to use every precaution available, including masks, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing.
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