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Avera Medical Minute: COVID care at home

 Avera COVID care at home kit
Avera COVID care at home kit (KSFY)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 10:48 AM CDT
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When Kevin Volk called his doctor, he wanted to discuss a leave of absence from work during the pandemic because of his pre-existing conditions. He also asked about a persistent cough that was bothering him.

"Like every 15 minutes and all that. And I had some intestinal things," said Volk.

Kevin was surprised when his doctor suggested a test for COVID-19. Three days later, he received shocking results.

"Calling to let you know that you tested positive. And it was just like, can't be absolutely can't be. I mean, because really I thought, with my pre-existing conditions. That was the greatest fear to me, as I just figured it I just figured to me, it was my death warrant," said Volk.

Doctor Mike Tobin knew about Kevin's heart condition, asthma, COPD and loss of a kidney.

"Of those risk factors that he had, he had me scared also," said Dr. Tobin.

But an entire team was ready to help Kevin at the best location, his home.

"When they discover that, they're referred to the Avera COVID transition team, which consists of a number of nurses and there's three providers like myself," said Volk.

Within hours of the positive COVID test, and "At-home monitoring kit" was dropped off at his place.

"They set it out on the hood of my car and I went out and got it. When you live in a small town, you want to kind of be discreet," said Volk.

With some guidance over the phone, everything was set up in 20 minutes. Kevin was able to check his oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature and body weight at home. All of it was reported back to the Avera Covid team.

"You do it twice a day, and about 11 o'clock a nurse would call me," said Volk.

That information is reviewed by the doctors.

"And they are able to tell us how the patient is doing. And if there are problem we sometimes call them, or we call the patient ourselves and make a virtual visit," said Dr. Tobin.

Despite the many patients being cared for, Kevin felt like he was the only one.

"Didn't make it about me and my patient number... made it about Kevin Volk you know, how's your dog doing, you know, what did you have to eat," said Volk.

Battling an unknown disease is both physical and mental.

"Where the nurse that's calling, that gives them reassurance, so I found that to be a big part of the process. A lot of people are just suffering from anxiety at this time," said Dr. Tobin.

Kevin knows the whole team by name. The care was invaluable.

"Walked me through some real, real scary times, I mean, I live by myself in a small town, and there are some scary times. They remembered what kind of spooked me out and stuff like that. How's that going and stuff like that. Well that's, I mean you can't put a price tag on that," said Volk.

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