Bernadette Brindley, 73 from Thatto Heath and a patient at the Spinney Medical Centre, was recently referred to the Covid Oximetry@Home service following a positive LFD test for Covid-19 earlier in March.
Bernadette receives care from the COPD nursing team as she suffers from COPD and Bronchiectasis which means she is more prone to infection and Covid-19 can be more dangerous for her.
Bernadette took a lateral flow test after waking up in the night with a sore throat and a cough. Over the next three days her symptoms got worse until she felt that she couldn’t breathe properly. Following a call to the COPD nursing team, she was advised to take antibiotic medication but the nurse she spoke to suggested a referral to the St Helens Covid Oximetry@Home service and duly completed the paperwork.
Bernadette then received a phone call from the Covid Oximetry@Home service and this was followed by a home visit by a nurse who was not happy with her lung function and arranged for her to attend St Helens Hospital to have a chest x-ray and bloods taken.
“Because of my COPD I already have a pulse oximeter but this was different – every morning I’d get a text message asking me to send my readings and I received a phone call from the team checking up on me.
“When my blood oxygen levels dipped to below what they should be – in the range of 91-93% - a doctor from the service then came out to see me. I did spend a day in hospital at one point and came away with a nebuliser, but I wanted to be at home and I really believe that without the service checking up on me, I would have been admitted for far longer.
“I was feeling very, very poorly and with my COPD I was really worried, however, the Covid Oximetry@Home team were absolutely brilliant and supported both myself and my husband through a really worrying time. They kept in contact, talked me through everything and came out to see me when my levels dipped and made sure I was ok – and they got me into hospital far more quickly than I think would have happened if I’d not been monitored by them. Being able to be at home for most of my illness was a real bonus too.
“I’m now feeling about 90% - and after nearly a month I have now been discharged from the service. I recommend the team to anyone who gets Covid and is more vulnerable – if you’re in my position and you are unlucky enough to get Covid then ask your GP about referring you if they don’t suggest it. It was a godsend to both me and my husband and we are so grateful the service exists."