Covid 19, Update #5: Important Clinical News for Asthmatics and Patients with Food Allergy
Effective immediately: All patients must have a face mask or face covering when entering the clinic either for an office visit or allergy injection.
A message from Dr. Lieberman and Dr. Parekh
We’d like to begin with some good news to share:
Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we are able to continue to administer allergy shots in a safe manner. With the lower volume of patient visits and extending the injection intervals for many, we are able to practice proper social distancing. We have many exam rooms available for waiting the 30 minutes after injections in a private room.
Telemedicine has been very effective to connect with our patients, provide refills and provide follow up appointments for our injection patients. This has also aided greatly to keep office volume at a minimum.
-recent studies and clinical experience have shown those with asthma are NOT at a greater risk to catch Covid 19.
-data is also emerging that asthma was not a risk factor for patients with severe COVID-19 infections.
– while systemic steroids are recommended to treat Covid 19 infections, they are still utilized to treat an asthma exacerbation, when necessary.
-inhaled steroids are safe and must be continued to prevent asthma flares
-there has been discussion related to the use of nebulizers. Nebulizers can continue to be used, there is no concern of catching Covid from a nebulizer. However, there is a concern that if a nebulizer is used on a patient who already has Covid, the respiratory droplets may help spread the disease.
-some areas are reporting a shortage of albuterol, there is no need to hoard or stockpile this. In fact with good control and use of daily maintenance medications such as Flovent, Symbicort, Advair, etc., one albuterol inhaler should last a year. Controlling asthma in the first place is the best means to prevent a severe exacerbation
Food allergy patients:
During Covid, there is an effort to reduce visits to the ER for food related reactions. If the reaction was not severe and responded well to a single dose of epinephrine, a visit to the ER may not be necessary. For instance the child threw up once or twice and had a cough, the epi was used and the cough and vomiting stopped, it is alright to observe further at home. If the reaction continues to progress with symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, alteration of behavior, then EMS should be called and a second dose of epi administered. Always have 2 doses of epi available and call our office at any hour and we will help to assess the situation.
As always, we are here to help, please feel free to give us a call if we can help with any advice or guidance during these trying times.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and stay on your asthma meds!