This week, I thought it would be helpful to arm yourself with a Corona Kit Kit for the home ‘to help increase your chances of home diagnosis, treatment and management if you were to develop Covid-19.
The three pieces of equipment each household should have are a thermometer, a blood pressure measuring machine (bracelet instead of a wristband) and a finger pulse oximeter (all available online). These measures can save your life and are invaluable to your doctor. A pulse oximeter is a finger probe that measures oxygen levels in the blood, and it should be above 95 percent in a healthy individual. This is a new revelation, as the coronavirus has shown in some patients that it lowers blood oxygenation to dangerous levels, sometimes with little warning. The air bags in the lungs fill with mucus and reduce the transmission of oxygen to the blood. This is when we know that you are becoming critical and may require hospital support. Blood pressure, pulse, and temperatures are useful indicators of how your condition is progressing and will help your doctor manage it at home.
Another useful investment would be to order a Covid-19 test (the virus is also known as SARS-CoV-2). There are two types of proof. The first is the antigen test, which indicates if you are currently infected (which requires a nasal / throat swab and takes up to two days to test). The second is the antibody test, which indicates whether you currently have the virus or have had it. in the past (this is a ‘Rapid Test Kit’ that can be determined on site at home, or a phlebotomist sends / draws blood and analyzes it with a laboratory diagnostic machine).
Most “home test kits” that look for antibodies are generally not reliable enough (this is especially true for Chinese imports). However, this is expected to change in the coming weeks or months, as some of the most reliable diagnoses hit the market (oddly, the US FDA has yet to approve any of the ‘Rapid Tests in the home, ‘and a Harvard expert believes they are months away.) Part of concern is that the reported reliability of the rapid test kit came from studies in hospital patients, which may not reflect the same antibody response as those in the community with relatively mild symptoms.
If you want a private ‘antibody’ test to see if you’ve had the virus, then the most reliable test we have is called an ‘ELISA’ blood test, but you often need to go to the lab to have your blood drawn and tested. on-site (there are limited sites offering this). However, in short, Abbot from the US USA And Roche in Europe will launch reliable blood test machines for use in a test center. A blood collection kit will be sent to you and sent back to the lab for testing.
I’ve been offering the RNA PCR RNA antigen swab test, which is the gold standard and most accurate we have to identify the current infection. I have encouraged some patients to keep one at home, in order to take samples on short notice, as it can take up to 48 hours for the lab to produce a result.
It’s also worth noting that we still don’t know for sure whether a positive antibody test confers complete immunity or whether there is a chance that it could re-infect itself.
Written by Dr. Tim Lebens, a private GP in Central London, with a subspecialty in health optimization and the latest advances in medicine. www.drlebens.com