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Follow-up care, blood thinners, oxygen monitoring: WHO issues new guidance for COVID-19 patients

Valley nurse warns community ‘COVID-19 is very real’ inside her hospital
Posted at 12:51 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 12:51:38-05

The World Health Organization has revised their guidelines for COVID-19 patients after their initial diagnosis or hospitalization. They now recommend all patients have access to follow-up care if they have persistent, new or changing symptoms.

For COVID-19 confirmed or suspected patients at home, WHO suggests the use of a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels in the blood. This would need to be coordinated with a care provider with regular follow-up.

They also recommend the use of low-dose anticoagulants, or blood thinners, for patients who have been hospitalized to prevent blood clots from forming.

WHO also formally endorses positioning COVID-19 patients lying on their stomachs while receiving supplemental oxygen to increase oxygen flow.

WHO and health experts around the world are trying to get a better understanding of “long COVID,” where patients have issues like extreme fatigue, persistent cough, etc. for weeks or months after their initial diagnosis.

To that end, in February, WHO will organize efforts to describe this so-called “long COVID” condition in more detail, gather global information on patient descriptions, and potentially provide a name for it.