Use of experimental drugs with official approval, significant role of steroids, a greater dependence on oxygen therapy than ventilators, and keeping a close watch on non-respiratory symptoms of Covid-19. Doctors treating Covid-19 patients say their experience of the disease over the past six months has taught them different ways to tackle it, and made them more confident in their approach towards it.
While the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s treatment guidelines have been the same since they were last issued in July, doctors say they are more aware and better equipped to predict the line of treatment to pursue.
They understand the disease better (Covid-19 affects far more than just your lungs, say doctors), and even diagnosis (RT-PCR, the “gold standard” for testing, may not always be right). The list of symptoms on the radar has widened too, with Covid-19 also believed to be manifesting in skin rashes.
“It’s a disease of the body. The heart, the kidneys, the brain and so many more organs are getting affected,” said Dr Kamna Kakkar, senior resident, anaesthesiology, at PGIMS Rohtak, who has been treating Covid-19 patients.
“Never underestimate supportive treatment, it works wonders,” she added. “We may lack ‘drugs’, but we do not lack ‘treatment’.”