As first responders, we want to make sure you have all the information you may need if you encounter someone who is experiencing flu like symptoms. We will be covering the highlights through in-person trainings for the next couple morning meetings.
Here are our morning meeting talking points and the active links to resources from the CDC:
· Refresh on Standard and Transmission- Based Precautions.
o The CDC recommends Standard Precautions for the care of all patients, regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status.
§ Standard Precautions apply to 1) blood; 2) all body fluids, secretions, and excretions, except sweat, regardless of whether or not they contain visible blood; 3) non-intact skin; and 4) mucous membranes. Standard precautions are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from both recognized and unrecognized sources of infection.
· Standard precautions includes the use of: hand washing, appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, whenever touching or exposure to patients’ body fluids is anticipated.
§ Transmission-Based Precautions (i.e., Airborne Precautions, Droplet Precautions, and Contact Precautions), are recommended to provide additional precautions beyond Standard Precautions to interrupt transmission of pathogens in hospitals.
· Transmission-based precautions can be used for patients with known or suspected to be infected or colonized with epidemiologically important pathogens that can be transmitted by airborne or droplet transmission or by contact with dry skin or contaminated surfaces. These precautions should be used in addition to standard precautions.
o Airborne Precautions used for infections spread in small particles in the air such as chicken pox.
o Droplet Precautions used for infections spread in large droplets by coughing, talking, or sneezing such as influenza, COVID 19.
o Contact Precautions used for infections spread by skin to skin contact or contact with other surfaces such as herpes simplex virus.
· Airborne Precautions, Droplet Precautions, and Contact Precautions. May be combined for diseases that have multiple routes of transmission. When used either singularly or in combination, they are to be used in addition to Standard Precautions.
o Training on COVID 19 signs, symptoms and transmission.
o CDC guidance on COVID-19 virus for first responders in the US (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-for-ems.html. This includes:
· Use of appropriate PPE before caring for patient(s) suspected of having COVID-19
o A single pair of disposable patient examination gloves. Change gloves if they become torn or heavily contaminated
o Respiratory protection (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator)
o Eye protection (i.e., goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face). Acceptable practice is to use snowsports goggles.
o Application of facemask to patient. If a nasal cannula is in place, a facemask should be worn over the nasal cannula. Alternatively, an oxygen mask can be used if clinically indicated.
o Limiting number of providers to essential personnel to minimize exposure
· Ensure there is enough stock of required PPE. Order adequate stock as needed to get through the remainder of the season.
We don’t want to be over-alarming, but we want to be well informed and have all the resources available.