Published Feb 24, 2004
I am looking for advice re: several residents with flu symptoms. I have 37 of 155 with flu, and lots of staff who had it as well. Besides the standard infection control inservices on handwashing, ect. ect what else might one suggest?
Many have had a flu shot who became sick, but we know the flu shot does not prevent the flu anyways. I heard that the flu shot was all wrong this year and is not targetting the strand of flu virus we are up against this year.
What else can I do here?
At my facility we have put containers of aerosol hand sanitizer by each residents room,by bathrooms, med carts, treatment carts, front doors, back doors, side doors (I think you get the idea) pretty much everywhere we can fit them. Alot of staff will not take the time to wash their hands, but will put a squirt or two of the sanitizer every chance they can. It hasn't helped a lot, but there has been a noticeable decrease in call ins and has slowed the "Bug" down after the first go round. I do think it helps.Also family members can and are encouraged to, utilize the product and makes them feel as if they are helping their loved ones.
i can't emphasize the handwashing enough; that would definitely be #1. keep the sick residents isolated from the others but wash, wash, wash those hands! number one.
Remember the flu is transmitted by droplets, so the HCW should wear a surgical mask when within 3 feet of the infectious person. Also teach the patient to cover thier mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough.
i agree about the mask if it's airborne. if i happen to be with a cognizant pt., i teach them to sneeze into their antecubital area. if they sneeze into their hands, to me that's just another way of spreading germs. something i've always taught my kids too.
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