Overdrive: Infection Control

‘Tis the season! Flu season!

Have you gotten your flu shot yet? Most nursing companies give their employees a voucher so they have no reason not to get a flu shot. I am about to schedule one for myself as well as for every member of my family. Why should we be in overdrive during this season? Simple. To keep our trache and vent babies home and away from the hospital as much as possible. What does this mean? It means we need to have important, heart to heart conversations with our family members, especially those who are living in our home. Aside from the obvious presence of hand sanitizers everywhere in the house, I talk to my family members about the importance of handwashing. It is the single most helpful thing they can do to prevent my son from going back to the hospital. When you do take the time to talk to your family, make sure you go over the following points:

  1. Proper handwashing every time they use the restroom or before going in to see the baby.
  2. Use hand sanitizers every time before touching anything in the baby’s room.
  3. Do not go in the baby’s room if they are sick. If they absolutely have to, they need to wear a mask.
  4. Change clothes or shower first before you go in the baby’s room if you have just been outdoors. Pollen, ragweed and other allergens can take a ride on your clothes and be transferred to the baby.
  5. Keep baby’s room clean and dust free by sweeping, vacuuming, wiping surfaces including machines with Clorox or Lysol wipes.

Most of the patients in the hospital during this time have either the flu or RSV, so an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. It’s okay if your family or relatives think you are a little too paranoid with infection control. We can never be too careful. Remember, our child’s life is at stake.