Welcome to Episode 183
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Tip of the Week H1N1 (swine flu) virus, flu season and EMS
To prepare EMS and other health professionals for the upcoming flu season and increased activity of influeza A H1N1 (swine flu), the producers of the EMS Garage and MedicCast Productions did a special joint episode with several other health professionals. They discuss the effects of the H1N1 pandemic and flu season to EMS providers.
The discussion includes:
- Vincent Racaniello of This Week in Virology podcast
- Anne Robinson, a public health nurse from Colorado
- Chris Montera from the EMS Garage podcast
- Rob Theriault from the Paramedic Tutor WordPress blog
- Gary Wingrove, President of the National EMS Management Association
Personal protective measures for health providers
Influenza virus is transmitted via droplets that are expelled by sneezing, coughing and speaking. Since health providers are on the front line of dealing with illnesses, it is important for them to practice measures to avoid transmitting or further spreading the infection.
Every medical professional knows that handwashing is the universal precaution. Proper handwashing every after patient reduces the risk of passing on the virus to the next patient or to other people that the health provider interact with. Other measures like using alcohol-based hand rub can also be helpful.
It is unlikely for a health care provider to avoid close contact for people who might be ill or to avoid crowded places especially for those working at the ED. However, they can use protective clothing like masks or gowns, depending on the institution’s protocol.
Most importantly, the immune system should be given a boost by good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
Check out the links below for more information on preventive measures against influenza.
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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.Improving CPR Outcomes and Episode 181