SARS patients and protection

  1. We have a *suspected* SARS patient on our floor, obviously in isolation room. Most people honestly think this patient does indeed have SARS. We are a telemetry floor, the person has been there for the last 2-3 weeks without any kind of cardiac monitoring and everyone is being very hush-hush about it, probably not to create panic.
    I know for a fact that we had several cases in the area where i live, I just don't know if this person is one of them.

    Anyway, according to the media, the preventative measures taken by staff overseas against contracting SARS weren't effective.
    We are wearing regular isolation gowns and the peach triangle-like TB masks (I don't know what they are called), only this time with a plastic shield.

    I was wondering what does your hospital provide for staff protection when dealing with suspected SARS patients?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   graysonret
    Wonder why everyone panics over SARS, yet treats influenza and pneumonia like nothing at all? We have many deaths every year from both of them, contagious as they are, yet someone gets SARS and it's "mass panic in the streets". I remember when AIDS first came to our hospital. Only 2 nurses would work with them...me and another one. Maybe they just didn't understand it.
  4. by   oramar
    I have to say that there are some things about SARS that are most alarming. One is the sheer number of nurses and other healthcare persons who have been infected and/or died. The second is the lack of vaccine. Third is the fact that it is not completely understood, even the facts that we do have are called into frequently being called into doubt. Fourth is an expansion of the third, it is the unknown potential of the disease. Yes, influenza and pneumonia kill more people most years but if SARS really got going it could easily dwarf anything that had come before. I am not hysterical but I do intend to watch this thing closely. That is what the situtation calls for, close scrutiny.
  5. by   steven44121
    As you know we had a major outbreak in Toronto. Staff did get infected after precautions were implemented, so things were increased. In short, for all sars pts: Double gloves, double gowns, goggles, face shield, and N95 mask and shoe covers.
    Also, no Bipap, oscillator ventilation, humidified oxygen , all found to aerosolize the virus.
    The CDC, when in Toronto to review our infection control felt that, contamination may have occured when incorrectly removing contaminated masks etc. Also masks need to be fit tested, so air comes through the mask thus providing the filtering and not around the sides. A proper tight fit is not possible with a beard.
    Good luck, get well informed and insist on poper protection and adequate supplies of masks etc. T

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