Disaster/Pandemic preparedness


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indigo girl

Specializes in Too many to list.

UK: Researchers Plan `Big Brother' Flu Experiment


How does flu spread? There is still some conjecture about this.

This experiment is designed to watch a select group of people 24 hour/

day to find out exactly how they infect each other, what works

to prevent it, and what does not. This is very basic and important

research that will be worth far more than the cost of the experiment,

and should have far reaching application world wide.

The aim is to gather information on how and how easily they contract

flu from each other and the effectiveness of hand washing, face masks

and keeping their distance to prevent infection.

Jonathan Van-Tam, professor of health protection at the University of

Nottingham, who is helping develop the trials, said the studies reflected

how much remains unknown about flu transmission, nearly two centuries

after medical journals began discussing the issue.

"Transmission is poorly understood and hotly debated," he said.

Disagreement remained on such as whether flu was contracted by

airborne particles or via surfaces touched by hand.

indigo girl

Specializes in Too many to list.

Pregnancy and Pandemic Influenza


Today the UK government announced that they had obtained enough of

the antiviral drug Relenza to treat all pregnant woman in a `reasonable

worst-case' pandemic situation, which they believe would not affect more

than 50% of the population.

Less well known than its competitor Tamiflu, Relenza is an inhaled

powder and is thought less likely to cross the placenta and adversely

affect the fetus

Pregnancy is considered to be a significant risk factor during an

influenza pandemic. Researchers know that during the 1918

pandemic an abnormally high number of pregnant women died from

the influenza, and those that survived endured a very high miscarriage


Pregnant women also appear to be more susceptible to influenza

than non-pregnant women, although the exact reasons for this

aren't understood.

It is believed, however, that the normal protections of a woman's

immune system are temporarily altered to allow her to carry what is

essentially a foreign body- a fetus - without rejection.

indigo girl

Specializes in Too many to list.

Update on Personal Protective Equipment


I was fitted for the N95 mask last April during my orientation. I have

not seen one since.

This essay analyzing two different studies does not bode well for those

of us that do not work regularly with the N95 respirators. Being able to

achieve a good seal with my mask is rather important to me as I will

probably be working during a pandemic since I'm not a young nurse

with children at home to be concerned about.

Participants were then recalled at 3 and 14 months after the initial

exercises, and significant failure rates were observed at both intervals,

suggesting the need for continued use of the masks for competency in

deployment. This is supported by the finding that the skills of nurses on

a respiratory ward, where airborne isolation precautions are more

common, were not severely compromised over time.1

In their discussion of the study, the authors note that 48% of HCWs will

be sufficiently protected with the deployment of 8210 respirators,

without training, and that instruction alone will increase the rate to


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