Respiratory therapists have never been more needed than in our fight with Corona virus. The following is some wisdom from a retired RT, that we find valuable & helpful , with common-sense tools to use. If this common-sense approach is followed, you can improve your chances of not ending up in the hospital on a ventilator. This applies generally to the healthy population. If you have respiratory, or other systemic issues, you already should have been in touch with you MD.
1. Only high temperatures kill a virus. That means internal body temperature, ergo fever’s as they run high are killing the viruses in your body. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is best for those treating fevers. Use common sense, if your fever goes over 101 or 103. Realize that your internal body heat is what is killing the virus. It helps to keep house warm and cover up with blankets, so body does not have to work so hard to generate the heat. It usually takes about 3 days of this to break fevers in this range.
2. The body is going to need to dehydrate with the elevated temperature, so you must rehydrate yourself regularly, whether you like it or not. Gatorade with real sugar, or Pedialyte with real sugar for kids, works well. Why the sugar? Sugar will give your body back the energy it is using up to create the fever. The electrolytes and fluid you are losing, through fever, will also be replenished by the Gatorade. If you don’t do this and end up in the hospital, they will start an IV and give you D5W (sugar water) and Normal Saline to replenish electrolytes. Gatorade is much cheaper, pain free, and comes in an assortment of flavors. Be prepared and have on hand.
3. You must keep your lungs moist. Best done at home, by taking long steamy showers on a regular basis, if your wheezing or congested use a real minty toothpaste and brush your teeth while taking the steamy shower and deep breath through your mouth. This will provide some bronchial dilation and help loosen the phlegm. Force yourself to cough into a wet washcloth pressed firmly over your mouth and nose, which will cause greater pressure in your lungs forcing them to expand more and break loose more of the congestion.
4. Eat healthy and frequent small meals. “Starve a Cold Feed a Fever”!
5. Deep breath on a regular basis, even when it hurts. If you don’t it becomes easy to develop pneumonia. Pursed lip breathing really helps. That is breathing in deep and slow then exhaling through tight lips as if your blowing out a candle, blow until you have completely emptied your lungs. Then you should be able to breath in even deeper breaths. This helps keep lungs expanded, as well as increase your oxygen level.
6. Once the fever breaks, start moving around to get the body back in shape and blood circulating. Sunlight is spirit for the soul.
7. COVID 19 is a virus and can only be treated symptomatically. You need to treat the symptoms so, all medications/treatments should be to relieve your specific symptoms. Remember that every medication you take may relieve symptoms, not make you well.
8. If you seem to not be recovering, sufficiently, contact your doctor and when recommended go to an ER.