Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Clinicals Started

Today was our first day of summer clinicals, and I had a rather interesting patient today. She was had been diagnosed with MRSA, and we received a warning from the nursing staff before she came into the x-ray department. I'll call her little miss, which is kind of ironic because she was no lady. Our nursing staff warned us that she had been trying to spread the bacteria to other people, including the staff. Little miss would purposely touch the infected wound and then try to touch the staff, or other objects that the staff would later handle.

Transport had dropped her off in the hallway next to the x-ray unit, and I had the pleasure of collecting her for the x-ray room. We were using a fluoroscopic procedure to guide a small needle into the shoulder joint space to collect a fluid sample. The first words out of her mouth was that she "needed" some pain meds to start the procedure. Of course, I told little miss that she would have to talk to her doctor about that, and that I could not give her anything without a doctor's order. So, when she saw the Radiologist that was performing the procedure, the same request fell on deaf ears. She did get the usual local anesthesia though. While we used standard aseptic protocols, we were extra careful to stay safe. Her arm was immobilized, and her head was turned towards the wall to "keep the sterile field" intact. While it was true, it was a two-fold approach to the two problems: the bacteria and the host.

MRSA = Methicillin-resistant StaphyLococcus aureus

And this is where the prepper in me starts to kick into high gear. I always had an inkling that some people would want other people to suffer, just as they are suffering. I guess that the old quote that "misery loves company" didn't appear from thin air. If in today's medical availability, that people can still want to inflict their pain on others, then what about when the system has fallen apart?

Today's Lesson: Treat everyone in a major extended disaster as infectious, and willing to spread it.

It would be a shame to survive a disaster, only to defeated by a virus or bacteria. A minimum distance for air-borne diseases is six feet...a minimum. Other bacteria and viruses can last on surfaces for two weeks. The golden rule around our department: "If it's wet and not yours, don't touch it!"

Do your research on aseptic practices and contamination control.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

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