The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has come up with some revised guidelines for discharging patients from healthcare facilities.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has come up with some revised guidelines for discharging patients from healthcare facilities. According to the government, the discharge policy (revised) is in sync with the guidelines on 3 tier COVID-19 facilities in India. It is also aligned with the category which the patient belongs to, depending upon the severity of its case, read the Health Ministry notice. There are mainly three categories (from mild to severe) in which the government has divided all Coronavirus patients and they will be discharged accordingly. For all cases, patients are required to stay under isolation for at least seven days even after discharge.
Criteria for discharging Coronavirus patients:
- Mild/very mild/pre-symptomatic cases: According to the government notification, patients who are in a COVID Care Facility will be put under a regular temperature and pulse oximetry monitoring. The patient can be discharged after 10 days (considering from the day symptoms appeared) if they did not have any fever for 3 days. It is to note that before the discharge, COVID-19 test (RT-PCR) will not be performed. The government further informed that before the discharge, if patients witness any dip in oxygen saturation (below 95 per cent), they will be moved to a Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC).
- Moderate cases admitted to DCHC (Oxygen beds): In this case, the criteria is further divided into two categories. In both the categories, no RT-PCR test will be done before discharge.
- One is for the patients whose fever resolves into 3 days. According to the Health Ministry’s guidelines, those whose fever is resolved in 3 days and have maintained oxygen saturation above 95 per cent for a minimum of 4 days will be discharged from the facility. The discharge will be done after 10 days of the symptom onset after monitoring that breathlessness is resolved, there is absence of fever without antipyretics and the patient does not need oxygen.
- Another case is where the patient demands oxygen and fever is not resolved within 3 days. In this case, discharge will only be given after the clinical symptoms are resolved and the patient is able to maintain oxygen saturation for 3 consecutive days.
- Severe Cases: In the cases where the Coronavirus infection is severe or the patient has any kind problem which compromises their immunity like HIV, malignancy or is a transplant recipient, the discharge will be given after complete clinical recovery. In this case, the patient will be tested for RT-PCR and discharge will be given when the patient will test negative for it.