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Caring for Someone Sick at Home

Monday, April 27, 2020 @ 08:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Advice for Caregivers

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings, follow this advice to protect yourself and others. Learn what to do when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or when someone has been diagnosed with the virus. This information also pertains to people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms.

*Note: Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, or diabetes, are at higher risk for developing more severe illness from COVID-19. People at higher risk of severe illness should call their doctor as soon as symptoms start.

Provide support and help cover basic needs

  • Help the person who is sick follow their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine.
    • For most people, symptoms last a few days and people feel better after a week.
  • See if over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, help the person feel better.
  • Make sure the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids and rests.
  • Help them with grocery shopping, filling prescriptions, and getting other items they may need. Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible.
  • Take care of their pet(s), and limit contact between the person who is sick and their pet(s) when possible.

Watch for warning signs

  • Have their doctor’s phone number on hand.
  • Call their doctor if the person keeps getting sicker. For medical emergencies, call 911 and tell the dispatcher that the person has or might have COVID-19.

People who have emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should  call 911 right away. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face

*This is not every emergency symptom or sign.

Protect yourself when caring for someone who is sick Read more

Courtesy of The Pulmonary Fibrosis News 4/7/2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived all requirements for in-person testing and signature at delivery for supplemental oxygen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is urging patients, healthcare providers, and oxygen suppliers to comply with the new CMS guidelines, in order to protect patients with lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis (PF), while ensuring that they receive the care and supplies they need at home.

“These CMS rule adjustments will allow patients to remain as safe as possible and avoid exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, while continuing to receive lifesaving oxygen,” William T. Schmidt, PFF president and CEO, said in a press release. “We were proud to lead several national healthcare organizations in advocating for public policies that will improve the lives of our patients and caregivers.”

PF causes progressive scarring of the lungs, a process that causes lung tissue to become stiff, affecting lung function, and leading to deficient oxygen transport into the bloodstream. Low levels of oxygen are responsible for characteristic symptoms of the disease, including shortness of breath, persistent dry cough, and fatigue.

Oxygen therapy is prescribed to many PF patients, as it helps increase blood oxygen levels and improves breathing.

Oxygen is typically administered by a thin tube that is placed in the nostrils, and attached to a tank filled with pure oxygen. Commonly, patients use a large tank or cylinder at home. Read more

Telemedicine Modifications Federally Approved

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 07:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Access to telemedicine services increased

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has expanded access to telemedicine to ensure the 1.1 million Minnesotans covered by Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare do not lose access to care and services, including mental health and substance use disorder coverage, during the pandemic.

DHS has received federal approval to temporarily ease certain limits in existing law for receiving needed care and services through telephone and video visits that can instead be provided safely and effectively without an in-person face-to-face visit by:

  • Expanding the definition of telemedicine to include telephone calls so providers who have a telemedicine agreement in place with DHS can serve patients through telephone or tele-video visits.
  • Allowing a provider’s first visit with a patient to be conducted over the phone.
  • Allowing Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare enrollees to have more than three telemedicine visits in a week.
  • Allowing DHS-contracted managed care plans to follow these same policies.

All telemedicine changes are effective Mar. 19, 2020.

DHS received Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approval for temporarily expanding the providers that may deliver services using telemedicine, including many mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. This approval also applies to equivalent tribal providers. See the Temporary coverage of telemedicine visits for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health providers webpage for information about telemedicine for mental health and SUD.

DHS also received temporary approval to allow a telemedicine service to satisfy the face-to-face requirement under the encounter payment methods for Indian Health Service, Tribal 638 clinic, Federally Qualified Health Center, and Rural Health Clinic services. If a service would have received an encounter payment if performed in person, the same service will receive an encounter payment if performed via telemedicine, including telephone and televideo as long as all of the applicable telemedicine requirements are met.

See the waivers and modifications webpage or the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section of the MHCP Provider Manual for more information about requirements that have been waived or modified so together we can continue to provide essential programs and services to Minnesotans safely and without undue delay during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pulse Oximetry at Home

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 07:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Patricia B. Koff, MEd, RRT, Affiliate Faculty member, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado
Courtesy of Nonin Medical

The use of pulse oximetry at home has expanded over the past twenty years and is expected to be one of the major growth areas in home monitoring during the next decade. Initial use at home in the early 1990′s focused on continuous monitoring with home mechanical ventilation and sleep studies. Intermittent spot-check use at home has become more common in recent years with conditions such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and others requiring long-term oxygen therapy. Self-monitoring enables patients to become more active participants in their health care.

To read the complete article, please click on the link below:

https://www.nonin.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/M-1910-Koff-Pulse-Oximetry-White-Paper.pdf

Selecting Alternate Models of Filtering Facepiece Respirator (FFR)

Thursday, April 16, 2020 @ 10:04 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Due to the significant increase in demand for respirators, many healthcare providers have had to select alternate models of respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many facilities have found that they can increase their available supply by including standard FFRs in addition to the surgical N95s that they typically use. Standard N95s are appropriate for many tasks in healthcare.

Employers originally using surgical N95 models and now trying to decide on a standard respirator model to incorporate into their respiratory protection program may want to identify models that are similar in construction to the ones familiar to their employees. Other employers may face similar supply challenges.

When respirators and fit testing supplies are constrained or not available, it may be preferred to use a respirator with similar construction and fit characteristics than providing a “non-similar” model. Our laboratory testing indicates respirator models with similar construction may be more likely to fit a worker similarly. For example:

3M™ Particulate Respirators 8210, 8210Plus, and 1860 have similar constructions and shapes. A worker that passes a respirator fit test with one of these respirator models has a high likelihood of passing a respirator fit test with the other respirator model.

3M Particulate Respirators 8110S and 1860S have similar constructions and shapes. A worker that passes a respirator fit test with one of these respirator models has a high likelihood of passing a respirator fit test with the other respirator model.

3M™ Particulate Respirators 1870+ and 9210+ have similar constructions and shapes. A worker that passes a respirator fit test with the 3M™ Particulate Respirator 1870+ has a high likelihood of passing a respirator fit test with the 3M™ Particulate Respirator 9210+.

3M™ Particulate Respirators 1805 (discontinued) and 1804 have similar constructions and shapes. A worker that passes a respirator fit test with one of these respirator models has a high likelihood of passing a respirator fit test with the other respirator model.

3M™ Particulate Respirators 1805S (discontinued) and 1804S have similar constructions and shapes. A worker that passes a respirator fit test with one of these respirator models has a high likelihood of passing a respirator fit test with the other respirator model.

Read more