Says U.S. needs a “crash program” to treat COVID-19 patients at home
La Jolla – California physician Dr. James Veltmeyer is calling for a “crash program” to keep non-critically ill COVID-19 patients out of the hospital to conserve staff and resources for those who “truly require live-saving treatments such as ICU and ventilation.”
Veltmeyer, a top San Diego doctor associated with one of the region’s largest and most prestigious hospitals and a past Congressional candidate, says “the main concern now is to keep our hospitals from being overrun.
There’s no reason for that to happen. We can put in place protocols and policies that allow the vast majority of COVID-19 patients to recover at home. There is no need for them to go to the hospital unless their lives are truly in danger and that is a very small percentage of cases. For the vast majority of COVID-19 patients, there is little that can be done in the hospital that can’t be done at home.”
Veltmeyer urged the implementation of the following plan:
1. Increased use of telemedicine ( Skype, phone, text, email ) to allow patients to communicate directly with physicians or nurses about symptoms
2. Ask insurance companies, hospitals and other providers to fast-track new and ramp-up existing health care hotlines that patients can access quickly with little or no wait times
3. Enlist RNs, VNAs, and CNAS through home health care agencies to assist and care for patients not critically ill with COVID-19 at home
4. Dramatically increase in-home care including enlisting physicians ( including retired ) for no-charge house calls
5. Enlist pharmacies to fast-track free distribution of over-the-counter pain relievers and cough medications to non-critically ill patients
6. Enlist the Red Cross and similar organizations to assist non critically-ill patients ( including the homeless ) in community centers, veterans’ halls and similar venues
7. Improve the care and medical treatment of the elderly in nursing homes to reduce the need for hospitalization
“We should be doing everything to keep people out of the hospital, if possible. The hospital exposes vulnerable populations to a variety of deadly pathogens. It should be the venue of last resort where containment cannot be done at home,” he stated. “Most importantly, we need to keep healthy during this crisis, through making the right lifestyle choices, such as proper diet and exercise, sufficient sleep, reducing stress, and keeping well- hydrated.”
Dr. Veltmeyer is the host of “Physician on a Mission” radio podcast show and the author of numerous OpEds which have been published across the country, including the Washington Times.
CONTACT: James D. Veltmeyer- 619-647-6420 Andrew Russo- 831-595-8914