As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin to drop, the arrival of the annual flu season is imminent. For nursing homes, this period brings an increased risk of respiratory infections of residents due to the colder weather. Certain infections, including the flu, pneumonia, and other respiratory tract ailments, pose a significant threat to the well-being of residents. In fact, respiratory infections account for one-third of all nursing home infections.
To combat this alarming statistic and ensure residents’ safety, nursing homes must prioritize having proper infection control and respiratory equipment along with appropriately trained staff to execute proper preventative measures. Supply360 is your trusted partner, offering a comprehensive range of essential medical supply tools and resources.
The Threat of Flu Season
Flu season’s arrival is a stark reminder of just one of the many challenges nursing homes face regarding resident health. The elderly population residing within these homes are particularly vulnerable to respiratory infections due to weakened immune systems and the close living quarters. Respiratory tract infections and other illnesses can spread rapidly and lead to severe health complications up to and including death. Being proactive rather than reactive has proven to be the best approach when dealing with the flu.
Infuenza is a virus. One of the primary ways the flu spreads is through viral load attached to the tiny fluid droplets made when an infected individual sneezes, coughs, or speaks. Standard droplet precautions must be implemented to prevent transmission of pathogens spread through close respiratory or mucous membrane contact with respiratory secretions.
Examples of Droplet Precautions include:
- Quarantine: Placing ill residents in a private room. If a private room is not available, place residents suspected of having influenza residents with one another.
- Mask Up: When entering the resident’s room, wear a face mask (e.g., surgical or procedure mask). Remove the face mask when leaving the resident’s room and dispose of it in the appropriate contaminated waste container.
- Transport: If resident movement or transport is necessary, have the resident wear a facemask (e.g., surgical or procedure mask).
- Communication: Before transferring them to other departments, communicate information about patients with suspected, probable, or confirmed influenza to appropriate healthcare personnel.
One of the most effective ways facilities can mitigate the risks this time of year is by ensuring they have the proper respiratory equipment on hand. Properly equipped and trained staff are better prepared to respond to respiratory emergencies, provide timely interventions, and manage chronic conditions. A well-rounded respiratory kit includes the following:
- Spirometers: These devices play a vital role in monitoring lung function, aiding in the early detection of changes, and facilitating proactive care.
- Humidifiers: Humidifiers maintain optimal moisture levels in the air, offering relief to residents with respiratory conditions and reducing irritation.
- Nebulizers: Nebulizers are essential tools for delivering medications directly to the lungs, providing quick relief during emergencies or daily management.
- CPAP Equipment: Residents with sleep apnea can benefit significantly from CPAP equipment, which enhances sleep quality and overall health.
- Disposables: Disposable supplies like masks, tubing, and filters are important regarding infection control and maintaining a hygienic environment.
We Can Help
Supply360 is your reliable partner for nursing home facilities seeking to fortify their respiratory care arsenal. We empower facilities to always prioritize resident health by offering a comprehensive range of equipment.
Winter month’s arrival serves as a wake-up call to take proactive measures to protect those you serve from potentially deadly infections. Supply360’s is here to help you properly equip your staff, collectively ensuring the health and well-being of your residents. To learn more about how we can help your facility, contact us online or at (866) 710-7626.