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Make Your Own COVID Care Kit: What Items To Prepare and How To Use Them

    Make Your Own COVID Care Kit: What Items To Prepare and How To Use Them

    Despite its numerous variants, one of the consistent things about COVID-19 is that many people will only experience mild symptoms. That means they won’t need to be hospitalized, but might experience symptoms like sore throat, cough and cold, fever, loss of the senses of smell and taste, and fatigue. Under some conditions, they can stay at home to isolate themselves and recuperate. Of course, home isolation is easier if you have all the things you need to take care of a family member. What items should be included in a COVID care kit?

    COVID Care Kit: Item by Item

    Regardless of whether or not you or a family member already contracted COVID-19, preparing a COVID care kit is a must nowadays. Based on the kits provided by the Office of the Vice President (OVP), Department of Health, and PhilHealth, the essential items to include are for:

    Safety and Cleaning

    If you or a family member needs to isolate at home, then you have to stock up on safety and cleaning supplies. These items include:

    • Surgical masks, which you need to wear whenever you leave the room (to go to the dedicated toilet and bath) or interact with anyone, even for just a short period
    • Sanitizer or alcohol (70%)
    • Soap
    • Tissue or paper towel
    • Disinfecting wipes
    • Trash bags

    Caring for a COVID-positive patient means you also have to keep a stash of laundry detergent, disinfectants, and gloves. Wash the patient’s clothes in hot water and disinfect any object or surface touched.

    Monitoring

    Your COVID care kit should also include monitoring devices:

    • Digital thermometer (Normal body temperature is around 37°C)
    • A pulse oximeter (Normal oxygen saturation is 95 to 100%)
    • Monitoring sheet
    • Phone to keep in touch with a doctor via call, text, or video conference

    Ideally, you need to monitor symptoms twice daily at around the same time each day. Log the temperature, oxygen saturation, and other symptoms in the monitoring sheet. To give you an idea, here’s the monitoring sheet from the COVID care kit provided by the OVP:

    covid care kit
    Twitter/PhilstarNews

    For fever, the doctor might recommend fever-reducers, like paracetamol.

    Even without physical signs of low oxygen level (trouble breathing, bluish lips, chest pain, etc.), oxygen saturation of below 90% is a cause of concern; the patient might need oxygen therapy. Report low O2 saturation immediately to the doctor.

    Vitamins and Medicines

    To help strengthen your immune system and care for your symptoms, a COVID care kit should also include vitamins and medicines. Here’s a list of what to prepare and the general rules on how to take them:

    Vitamins C and D, Zinc

    These vitamins help strengthen the immune system. A dose a day is usually enough since it is always best to get vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet.

    Paracetamol

    This helps reduce pain and fever. The maximum dose is 4 grams (8 tablets of 500 mg) per day. Make sure there’s a 4-hour interval between each dose. Taking too much paracetamol can have serious side effects. Additionally, other over-the-counter medicines in your COVID care kit may also contain paracetamol. DO NOT take other medicines with paracetamol at the same time.

    Phenylpropanolamine HCL

    This helps with nasal congestion (baradong ilong). The dose depends on the amount of Phenylpropanolamine HCL in each tablet. A 25mg capsule is usually taken once every 4 hours (as needed). The maximum dose is 4 tablets per day. Tell your doctor if you’re hypertensive. With caffeine, it might increase your blood pressure.

    Carbocisteine or Lagundi

    Carbocisteine and Lagundi are medicines that help with productive cough (ubong may plema). Patients usually take 500 mg of carbocisteine every 8 hours. For lagundi, the possible dose is 600 mg three times daily.

    Butamirate

    This medicine helps with dry cough (ubong walang plema). Patients can typically take a 50 mg tablet twice or thrice daily, with 8 or 12-hour intervals between each dose.

    Cetirizine

    This is an anti-allergy medication that helps relieve runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy nose and throat. The usual dose is 10 mg once a day, typically at night before going to bed.

    Oral Rehydration Salts

    ORS, which you mix with water, helps prevent dehydration, especially when you have diarrhea or a high fever. The dose usually depends on the brand of ORS. Ask your doctor when and how you should take it.

    Hexetidine

    Your COVID care kit may also include hexetidine mouthwash, which can help relieve sore throat. Usually, patients gargle with it for 30 seconds twice daily.

    Important Reminders

    Please consult your doctor regarding what medicines to take and their correct dose for your condition. If your symptoms get worse (you develop chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, etc.), report to your doctor immediately so they can help you get in-patient care when necessary.

    Learn more about Coronavirus here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Paracetamol for adults, https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/paracetamol-for-adults/, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Basics_of_Oxygen_Monitoring_and_Oxygen_Therapy_Transcript.pdf, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/videos/oxygen-therapy/Basics_of_Oxygen_Monitoring_and_Oxygen_Therapy_Transcript.pdf, Accessed January 24, 2022

    What to Put in a Covid-19 Emergency Home-Care Kit, https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-to-put-in-a-covid-19-emergency-home-care-kit-11585861195, Accessed January 24, 2022

    CHIBP for providers 12Aug2021, https://www.philhealth.gov.ph/covid/GuideforHealthcareProviders.pdf, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Possible Items to Include in a Home-based Care Kit (non-US Settings), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19/home-based-care-kit.html, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Phenylpropanolamine, https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/phenylpropanolamine?mtype=generic, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Dosage/Direction for Use, https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/solmux/dosage, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Right lagundi dosage can relieve Covid-19 symptoms: DOST, https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1165495, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Butamirate, https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/butamirate?mtype=generic, Accessed January 24, 2022

    Cetirizine, https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/cetirizine/, Accessed January 24, 2022

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jan 24
    Fact Checked by Vincent Sales
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