While the large majority of COVID-19 cases can be treated at home, severe symptoms may require a trip to the hospital. The rate of hospitalization for this virus increases with age, so while those younger than 50 years of age with COVID-19 have a hospitalization rate of 0.1–7.4%, older populations experience a rate of 12.2–17.2%.
We asked Larkin Virden MSN, RN, Med/Surg Director at St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital, to provide some insight so patients and their loved ones can know what to expect if hospitalization is necessary.
After Admission for COVID-19
How long can COVID-19 patients expect to be in the hospital?
Each patient is different. Patients are discharged when medically stable and may be asked to self-quarantine at home.
Will COVID-19 patients have to share a room with other patients?
Currently, all our patient rooms are private.
Can patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 receive visitors?
No visitors are allowed in the hospital at this time. Exceptions will be managed by hospital leadership.
Will COVID-19 patients have to wear a mask at all times in their hospital room?
No, but patients are encouraged to wear a mask with interaction with our healthcare workers to reduce the potential spread of the virus.
Communication With Loved Ones
How can patients keep in contact with their loved ones?
We encourage virtual contact via our WiFi or on a hospital-provided device, such as an iPad. Patients may bring personal communication devices, such as mobile phones or a PC with adapters, with them to the hospital.
How will you keep patients’ loved ones informed about their condition?
Our nurses and physicians will update as appropriate, at least once or twice a day or as arranged by family and caregivers.
COVID-19 Patient Care & Treatments
How often will COVID-19 patients receive visits from care providers?
At least daily or more frequently in our critical care units.
What treatments do COVID-19 patients often receive after admission?
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and others when clinically indicated. If needed, patients may also receive oxygen, metered-dose inhalers, or similar medications.
At what point do patients require a ventilator or intubation?
When medically necessary, the patient will receive ventilator support. Patients will be intubated as determined by the physicians and care team. For intubation, patients will be sedated and receive medication to keep them comfortable.
Remember, if you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have been, or are being, evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive. Visit our website for COVID-19 updates and resources.