Reviewed 20th July 2020 at 09.38am
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After the National PH Centres Directors’ submission to NHS England, in April PH patients were recognised in the extremely vulnerable group of patients.
Please find our general advice below, and use the individual sections for specific information. All of these pages are regularly reviewed and updated.
Having PH does not make you more likely than anyone else to catch coronavirus (which is also referred to as COVID-19). For now, it is not known how infection with COVID-19 will affect people with PH. In those who are well it may be a mild illness, but those with significant PH problems are likely to be at risk of more severe illness. It must be remembered though that everybody with PH is a unique individual and many have other co-existing conditions and their circumstances and needs may well vary.
People with pulmonary hypertension should be shielding. You’ll find more information on this here.
Additional support may be available to you if you are shielding. Find out more here
- Look after yourself and keep up with your usual medications.
- Have a good diet, keep well hydrated, undertake physical activity in your home if you can.
- Make sure you are up to date with repeat prescriptions (not just your PH-specific drugs).
- Regular hand washing is the most effective thing that you can do to decrease your risk of infection. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, in particular after being in public places (click here). Avoid touching your face as much as possible. Make sure everyone around you is practising good hand washing techniques.
- If you have a Hickman line receiving intravenous therapy for your PH and develop a high temperature (38 degrees or more) contact your dedicated PH centre for advice.
- Make sure you have been fully vaccinated against other preventable infections, including the influenza vaccination.
FACE MASKS AND COVERINGS
In all UK countries, people are being encouraged, if they can, to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible, or when you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
It is now a requirement to use a face covering when taking public transport in England and Scotland, and when in shops in Scotland. Face coverings on public transport in Wales will be mandatory from 27th July. Face coverings will be mandatory in shops in England from 24th July. All hospital visitors and outpatients also have to wear face coverings.
Young children and those who have breathing difficulties, or are disabled, are exempt.
WE HAVE CREATED AN EXEMPTION NOTICE THAT YOU CAN SHOW IF YOU ARE CHALLENGED FOR NOT WEARING A MASK. PLEASE CLICK HERE
The British Lung Foundation has the following advice about face coverings:
Wearing a face covering may reduce the risk of spreading infection by protecting people you come into contact with. Face coverings do not replace social distancing.
People with breathing problems and children under 2 or others who may find it difficult should not use face coverings.
If you feel comfortable wearing a mask when you’re in a public place and it’s hard to keep 2 metres away from other people, and you choose to wear a mask, please use a cloth covering and not a mask designed for clinical use. The NHS needs these supplies. You should also wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.