by Eulana Weekes
St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Dr Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph N France General took WINN behind the scenes of the fight against the deadly virus.
In an exclusive interview, Dr Wilkinson detailed the evaluation strategies and treatment methods used at the hospital.
“If someone has any symptoms that they think might be related to COVID-19, whether it’s flu-like illness when they go to the emergency room at the Joseph N France Hospital, they are directed to what’s called the ‘Respiratory Side’ of the Joseph N France Hospital. You will be aware that, about three years ago we would have made some structural changes so that the emergency room can continue to function, while we still see persons with the highly contagious COVID-19 virus and not putting other persons at risk; and so, once they go to that section, they will be assessed and most of them will have their oxygen saturation done to see what is the level of oxygen within their blood. They will have a chest X-ray to see the degree of lung damage that they may have and if they have significantly compromised the respiratory system, then they will be admitted for treatment.”
Dr Wilkinson acknowledged that persons often hear of the respirator, but that is usually used as a last resort when the respiratory system becomes significantly compromised. However, he disclosed that hospitalised COVID-19 patients may be treated with medications such as steroids to abort the anti-flammatory response that the virus can have, anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting, as well as, broad-spectrum antibiotics and oxygen supplementation.
Despite the severity of the COVID-19 virus, Wilkinson stated that most persons recover without having to go on a ventilator. As it relates to the fourth wave, dominated by Omicron, he said, health officials find that the majority of persons do not need any respiratory support on the ventilator.