Information, guidance and resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Please be aware that this is a fast-evolving situation and clinical and public advice may change. Information here will be updated and changed as appropriate so please check for the latest version.
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
NHS guidance on symptoms, test and trace, self-isolation, people at higher risk and long COVID can be found here.
Government guidance on COVID-19 can be found here.
With the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination now available for selected individuals, and a good safety profile documented, the UK Surgical Royal Colleges have developed a statement that is supported by CPOC.
Please access the The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, Intensive Care Society, Association of Anaesthetists and Royal College of Anaesthetists joint hub here.
General Guidance for Patients
In the midst of a global pandemic, CPOC is calling for the public to prepare themselves for the possibility they will contract COVID-19, in the same way they should prepare for an operation. We encourage the public to exercise and stop smoking during this time to increase their ability to cope if they contract the virus.
People are more likely to be admitted to intensive care or to die if they smoke, have medical conditions or are unfit. In China they found less fit people with medical conditions were five times more likely to have a worse outcome from COVID-19 and smokers three times more likely to have this result. The public, particularly adults in a ‘vulnerable high-risk group’ should be getting some exercise, so that if they catch the virus, they are less likely to need intensive care and we hope also less likely to die.
Families need to support each other. People who feel they are doing something also often feel more empowered and in control. People who exercise have better mental health.
- stop smoking. The craving only lasts three minutes.
- do exercise unless you are unwell with the virus: Ideally brisk walking, cycling, electric-bike or jogging. Over-70s ARE allowed out – keep 2 metres from others and don’t touch anything. If indoors, try moving in a different way, eg dancing or using a video programme. Every minute is worth it.
- do strengthening exercise and balance: walk up and down the stairs, do squats and practice sit-to-stand.
- nutrition: It takes 20 minutes to register that you are full, so try smaller portion sizes. Sugary snacks and carbohydrates make hunger return quicker, so plan ahead. People with obesity fare worse with lung infection
- mental health: Sleep well, allow each other space, don’t do or say the first thing that comes into your head. Breathe.
- alcohol: Have alcohol-free days. Alternate alcohol with a soft drink. Try to break the spell.
- Set up good habits. Fix it in a schedule, for example 20 minutes of daily aerobic exercise. There are lots of videos online.
- Masks are mandatory in shops and supermarkets as of the 24 July 2020.
As well as saving serious illness and NHS capacity now, we are also asking the public to prevent the ill-health they are building up, in an attempt to guard against more diabetes, hip fractures, mental ill-health and need for social care when the current crisis eventually ends. This includes those patients waiting for their cancelled elective surgeries, who are asked to do something every day to be ready for when the NHS is ready.
We recommend our resources on ‘FitterBetterSooner’ which are used by patients preparing for an operation, to reduce the severity of COVID-19 for themselves and their families.
Would you like to see more guidance on COVID-19?
Please visit the joint FICM, ICS, AoA and RCoA website for the latest guidance and developments.