Swine Flu and Emergency Nursing

  1. Ok... i can already tell this is going to be a huge pain...

    i understand what the virus is about...crazy form of the flu... first noticed in 1976... thank god it really doesn't have anything to do w/ pork.... ham is delicious!!!

    We had quite a few ppl in my ER today and it is progressing that think they have this *swine flu*

    I am not saying it is not a very serious strain of influenza... type a an c i think... but we don't need every person w/ the sniffels rolling up in triage thinking they are gonna die!

    had an ambulance pt come into my er today...38 y/o male saying he had the swine flu....
    woke up with a slight headache.... afebrile... vswnl...no contact with anyone that had been diagnosed... never even been out of this state..

    I am afraid that people are gonna blow this way out of where it needs to be...

    We, as health care professionals need to take it seriously.. but.... on the other hand... some people think they are sick when they are not...

    If.. for any reason... you are scared and think you can't work around it... then don't.... you don't need to be in the medical field.. especially the ER...

    As for the real ER ppl....

    keep up the good work... I know you are not scared.... we will fix this..... we work the frontline...

    *stompin out disease and saving lives!!*

    thats what we do....

  2. Visit nghtfltguy profile page

    About nghtfltguy

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 320; Likes: 252
    Flight/ER Nurse
    Specialty: emergency and trauma

    12 Comments

  3. by   BrnEyedGirl
    The meida has really blown this out of proportion. Must be a slow news time..:O

    One of our local radio stations ran a "10 things you should know about the Swine flu" durring the AM commute time,.....it included things like statistically you are more likely to die driving to work than from the swine flu,..you are more likely to be hit by lightening than to get the swine flu,..it compared the deaths from complications of influenza to the cases of swine flu (something like 156,000 vs 62 in the US) It was refeshing to hear the media tell everyone to chill for once!
  4. by   txspadequeenRN
    i fee for you people that work in the er...my area is just crazy...already two major school districts have completely closed for a week and a half ...one school district with something like 80k students closed for 1 confirmed case and the other closed for 4 possible cases....i understand this is a situation that bares watching but good grief.....
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    Like I said elsewhere, this is going to completely restore our census to normal and eliminate flex staffing, but I highly doubt we're seeing the pandemic of 1918 again ...
  6. by   RNpandoraRN
    People reacted the same way with the "bird flu" a few years back (or was that more recent?). I, too, get tired of hearing the media blow everything out of proportion. It should be taken seriously, but so far is it any more dangerous than the 'regular" flu, i.e. affecting the elderly and the very young (already immunocomprised)...
  7. by   Whispera
    I feel the need to add another side to the story. Remember when everyone was thinking they had anthrax? During that time my son had some similar symptoms to the disease and it got to the point that he was in so much pain that he could barely walk. We didn't think he had anthrax but knew he was sick. While we were in the ER, I heard staff saying he was "another one of them that thinks he has anthrax." They gave him an antacid and an IV of NS, diagnosed gastroenteritis, and sent him home. After a month of trying to get a proper diagnosis and treatment (the doctors did no testing, and accepted that the first diagnosis was correct), I insisted on him seeing a GI specialist who ordered a lower GI series. My son had peritonitis from a ruptured appendix (30 days old).

    So, my added thought to this topic is...never assume....
  8. by   mama_d
    I'm reserving judgment for a little while before I decide if it's getting blown out of proportion or not.

    We've got little natural immunity to it, no vaccines, and it's jumping from human to human now, which increases the chances of mutation. Hopefully it will be a short-lived, relatively contained episode that we can all poke fun at later. And most of us are lucky enough to live in a country where Tamiflu and the like are fairly easily available, so that helps us at least.

    All the same, I can't really blame people for being overcautious. Coming to the ED when you don't even have any symptoms is another thing entirely though.
  9. by   Pixie.RN
    We were already having measles issues ... and now this. So our infection control peeps have made signs for the ER waiting rooms that say, among other things:

    "If you have a fever of more than 100 F and a rash:

    OR

    If you have a fever of more than 100 F, a sore throat and a cough or any other flu-like symptoms (body aches, headache, runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea)

    THEN

    Please put on a mask. Let the nurse know immediately that you have the above symptoms."

    I'm getting ready to work four 12's in a row, starting tomorrow ... we'll see what happens! There are some probable cases in Maryland (awaiting confirmation), and I'm next door in Virginia. I just logged on to my hospital email and had about 20 messages directly related to policies and procedures and information dealing with the swine flu.
    Last edit by Pixie.RN on Apr 30, '09
  10. by   Displaced
    Quote from LunahRN
    Like I said elsewhere, this is going to completely restore our census to normal and eliminate flex staffing, but I highly doubt we're seeing the pandemic of 1918 again ...

    Up until a couple days ago managers were asking who wanted to go home early, but now that we are very busy and we actually do want to go home, they have stopped asking.
  11. by   oramar
    I am concerned but I am not panicking. What good will panicking do? Panic makes reason go out the window and we need to think clearly in a situation like this.
  12. by   indigo girl
    Quote from oramar
    I am concerned but I am not panicking. What good will panicking do? Panic makes reason go out the window and we need to think clearly in a situation like this.
    Not to worry. Right now, nothing much is happening. No cause at all to panic. But, that could change.

    I consider it a blessing that we have time to do some preparation for any kind of emergency.

    Should we ignore what happened in Mexico? That would not be smart. This virus could still turn lethal maybe later in the fall in our regular flu season.

    It is better, imo to prepare, just in case for later, and get on with our everyday lives. Remain calm, and let the CDC and the WHO do their jobs. Monitor the situation. Do some prepping for (any) emergency, and stop worrying

    As long as I have my emergency supplies at hand, I feel better.

    Just stay informed.
  13. by   SillyPinkBunny
    Hello everyone. I'm not worried about this swine flu at all, I beleive it's nothing but Mass Hysteria right now. I dont beleive in running to the ER everytime my kids or I have the sniffles or a low grade fever. BUT just in case, what kind of stuff should have at home for just in case? OTC meds? And when would be a good time to see a doctor if things get bad? The only thing that worries me is that what if me or one of my kids get hurt (broken bone, stitches ect)and need to go the ER or an urgent care or even our normal doctor's office and end up waiting forever because everyone and their dog is there cause they have a headache and a runny nose and think they're dying. A friend even told me how her dr's office has a 72 hour call back waiting time cause everyone keeps calling cause of this swine flu. But like I said, I'm not stressing it at all, but just to be resposible for my kids, what should I have at home just in case? also my kids are 7 and 9 years old so if they get sick, they should be able to fight it unlike a very small child?? Sorry for all the questions because truthfully I have no momeory of ever getting the flu and my kids have never had the flu either, so I have no experience with it so I have no idea what kind of meds I should have at home just in case, I'm thinking motrin and tylenol are a must, but anything else??

    -pinkbunny
  14. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from SillyPinkBunny
    Hello everyone. I'm not worried about this swine flu at all, I beleive it's nothing but Mass Hysteria right now. I dont beleive in running to the ER everytime my kids or I have the sniffles or a low grade fever. BUT just in case, what kind of stuff should have at home for just in case? OTC meds? And when would be a good time to see a doctor if things get bad? The only thing that worries me is that what if me or one of my kids get hurt (broken bone, stitches ect)and need to go the ER or an urgent care or even our normal doctor's office and end up waiting forever because everyone and their dog is there cause they have a headache and a runny nose and think they're dying. A friend even told me how her dr's office has a 72 hour call back waiting time cause everyone keeps calling cause of this swine flu. But like I said, I'm not stressing it at all, but just to be resposible for my kids, what should I have at home just in case? also my kids are 7 and 9 years old so if they get sick, they should be able to fight it unlike a very small child?? Sorry for all the questions because truthfully I have no momeory of ever getting the flu and my kids have never had the flu either, so I have no experience with it so I have no idea what kind of meds I should have at home just in case, I'm thinking motrin and tylenol are a must, but anything else??

    -pinkbunny
    The things to keep at home, so you won't need to go to a crowded grocery store later, is juices and soups (homemade chicken is best and cheapest) you and your children like, enough food for the next 2 weeks, and tissues. You should have sufficient soap for handwashing frequently, and hand lotion for the consequences of that (chapped hands). Rent some movies for the kids in case schools are closed..... If you have pets, be sure to have enough food and if they take it normally, medicine for them.

    If you or your children develop symptoms of flu (sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, profound fatigue), give them tylenol rather than motrin (which has ibuprophen) in the dosage recommended on the container for their age and do the same if needed, for yourself. Call your doctor(s) as early as possible, because fewer people will be at their offices than at a hospital's ER, and be sure to leave a message describing the symptoms. Tamiflu is effective treatment and has been distributed widely; and will be available at your doctor's office or hospital, as well as other antiviral medication.

    Early treatment is important. If this happens at night, call the ER at the hospital where your doctor(s) are on staff, to ask how crowded it is, and prepare them for the arrival of more flu patients. They'll have face masks, if they're needed. Be sure if you get them, to mold the borders close to your face and bridge of noses, so air can't escape through gaps.

    Meanwhile, realize that even in the worst of situations in the past many people didn't become ill. As the role model for your children, being calm will be important for them and their future families.
    Last edit by lamazeteacher on Apr 30, '09 : Reason: addition

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