First reports of swine flu at nursing homes surface, professionals council issues guidelines
Reports circulated Friday about three NY nursing home residents suspected of having contracted H1N1. In addition, a nursing aide was believed to have contracted the sickness after visiting Mexico and returning to work before symptoms surfaced.
The Long-Term Care Professional Leadership Council urged pro-active planning and interventions in its guidelines. “By taking steps to prepare, facility leadership can exhibit confidence and calm. This preparation is important regardless of the outcome of the present S-OIV [swine-origin influenza A virus] outbreak since an influenza pandemic can happen at any time,” the LTCPLC noted.
Among the recommendations: All facility staff should be trained to recognize flu symptoms before they hit, and any person who develops flu-type symptoms should be considered a possible cause, until proven otherwise. Coordination with pharmacies and local health officials also is emphasized. Members of the LTCPLC include the American College of Health Care Administrators; the American Medical Directors Association; the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists; and the National Association Directors of Nursing Administration/Long Term Care (NADONA).