Posts Tagged ‘emergency care’

After experiencing SARS in North America and the fear that it brought not only to the medical community. But to ordinary citizens who had no idea of how it was spread and how to protect themselves. This was evident with the first responders of that deadly pandemic of the doctors and nurses who lost their lives.

BBC News Protective Gear

BBC News Protective Gear

I am not sure who are the leaders who are monitoring Ebola and how countries need to work together to contain the international boundaries. Otherwise, as we see in the news cases in Brazil, Spain and other countries will join in that list in a short time. Why do governments wait too late to set up check points at airports?

As a nurse I ask if hospitals are prepared to handle Ebola cases. The first entry is through the emergency and this is where protocol should be established. The update on BBC shows little is known and communicated and that the Ebola virus needs caution in protective gear with set gear up and disinfection. It is hoped ER are set up with protocols to separate from the regular patients otherwise as during SARS crisis there is no entry for emergency care.

Perhaps, Dr Todd Warden’s redesigning ERs need to meets the needs and be efficient. Hopefully, we would have learned from the last time and save more lives. Without a cure this could see a shutdown in our society on all fronts.

Lets be open for change and be prepared instead of being reactive!


Read Full Post »

ImageIt has been a pet peeve of mine for a number of years of the terrible emergency care mostly due to my personal experience of a cancer patient and observing the long waits. This prompted me to sponsor a symposium on emergency care based on process design with the people who are the best with Terri Zborowski and team at  Ellerbe Becket AECOM and Dr Todd Warden, a leading ER specialist from the US who amazing with his expertise brings the wait time down to 9 min.

What was there not to be impressed? We had eight Ontario hospitals participate and some who could not attend attend due to timing conflicts received a package. The bittersweet irony was that Ontario Long Term Care called and stated great idea but because it is free we just “don’t know what to do”. Despite the setback I continued to contact physicians across Canada and sent the info package.

Well, something must have worked because my wait time in the Toronto General Hospital or better known as TGH was only 30 mins and I was sent directly to a room. The waiting room was even clean and I noted it was divided into two sections of triage those registered and those waiting to be registered.

I was pleased with the prompt care, diagnosis and treatment. The staff did not appear hurried although one nurse thought I was a renal transplant without checking my ID band and the ER physician, Dr Salmon who was professional was running out the door when I tried to ask a question. This is one reason why I like to pay directly for care at the Mayo because then there is more of a customer patient service. This caused some problems when the pharmacist had to call back the doctor to clarify a medication as it was contraindicated as an allergy on my alert. I hate clogging up the system.

I had to chuckle when I heard a nurse in the next room telling the patient  to order pan medication because she is paying for it anyway through OHIP- it is free. So don’t hold back.

I was impressed when I left the ER well under 8 hours with my prescription in hand to see a room off to one side with big words, “Rapid Assessment” and that helped eased the clogging with triage. I am sure this was part of our input from the symposium as our diagrams clearly indicate this process, although I never knew until I was again, the patient who is the real test.

Read Full Post »

he headline in Britain reads: A new respiratory illness similar to the SARS virus that spread globally in 2003 and killed hundreds of people has been identified in a man treated in Britain.

There is always news about viruses especially come fall into winter, but for those who lived through SARS it was a frightening time. This was due to the fact no one in the medical and/or scientific community knew exactly what was the cause and failure to put in safeguards such as isolation protection putting the public and professionals at risk. Little did we hear of the nurses or physicians who either developed symptoms and died or still disabled.

What did we learn or anything at all?

It was a time Canadians started to think about medical care access and accountability as lives depended on it. Hospitals were off limits canceling surgeries and services. There were long line-ups to the emergency department due to increased protocols. Emergency service has not improved and that once again will be a problem needing a solution.
This new virus is a coronavirus from the same family as the common cold and SARS, identified in Britain for the first time and the second incident both stemming from the Middle East. Symptoms include fever, cough, breathing difficulties and kidney failure. There is no vaccine or cure.

It is thought to be spread by droplets when the infected person sneezes or coughs. The key control is good isolation techniques of patient, and protective barriers for direct contact.
The message is not to worry at this time but to be vigilant in hand washing and to stay away from crowded areas such as malls.

Stay tuned- be proactive
Health professionals already use online tools, such as Google Flu Trends  or  Health Map  to track the spread of infectious diseases and this is available to the public.

Read Full Post »