Patient Safety & Emergency Preparedness
After using any medication you inject, place all needles, syringes, lancets, and other sharp objects into a sharps container. We will give one free of charge. If at any time you do not have a sharps container nearby, a hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on lid or secure lid can be used. Examples include: an empty coffee can or liquid detergent container. Make sure to secure the lid with heavy-duty tape and do not use clear plastic or glass containers. Do not fill the container more than 75% full. Please refer to the handout included at the end of this packet for sharps disposal information.
- Never place the cap back onto a needle.
- Throw away used needles right after use into a sharps container.
- Plan ahead for the safe handling and disposal of needles before using them.
- Look for medical help if you receive any needle-stick or sharps-related injuries right away.
- Items that only touch unbroken skin (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, and other medical items)rarely, if ever, transmit disease. These items should be cleaned with alcohol after each use. Should anypiece of item become contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious material, the item should becleaned with a chemical that kills germs.
- All excretions, releases of fluid, blood, and drainage should be thrown out in the toilet.
- To decrease contamination during use as much as possible, products must be handled in a manner that willprotect you from contamination. The steps include the following:
- Wash hands, making sure to use good hand washing methods.
- Unpack and handle products in a manner that maintains the highest level of cleanliness.
- Properly store all products.
Getting an infection can become a serious issue, especially if your medication(s) decreases your body’s ability to fight infection. Follow these instructions given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When should you wash your hands?
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- Before handling any medication(s)
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
How should you wash your hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands,between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginningto end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
What should you do if you don’t have soap and clean, running water?
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the germs on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not kill all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
How do you use hand sanitizers?
- Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
Common problems like unsafe storage habits, damaged electrical equipment, or poor safety precautions in the home can lead to injuries including: falls, poisonings, suffocation, burns, drowning, etc. Always keep a list of emergency contact information readily available. Please call our pharmacy at 877-842-5181 if you have any questions on how to handle your medication(s) or what to do with a missed treatment or delivery due to an emergency situation. Read the following information to keep yourself and others safe.
How to prevent falls:
- Clear the clutter. Instead of putting items on the floor, put them in storage rooms, bins, or closets. This canhelp you avoid dangerous footing.
- Do not use rugs. They’re actually more likely to cause you to fall. If you want to keep your rugs, put tapeunder small rugs to prevent slipping.
- Safety proof stairs. Install handrails on both sides of the stairs and place a gate at the top of the handrails.For small children, place safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Install handrail guards to keepthem from slipping through the cracks. Adding attached carpeting or a stair runner to hardwood stairs canadd more traction to prevent slipping.
- Bathroom safety. Place grab bars and rubber mats in your bathroom and bathtub. Ask your medicalequipment provider about a shower bench so you can sit in the shower. If you have trouble sitting or gettingup, ask about a raised toilet seat with arm supports to make it easier to get on and off the toilet.
- Bedroom safety. Ask your home medical provider about getting a hospital bed. These beds move up anddown so you can sit up, recline, and adjust your knees. There are tables and supports available so youcan eat, exercise, and read in bed. Bed rails are also an option, especially if you have a habit to movearound at night. If you have difficulty walking, ask about a bedside toilet so you don’t have to walk to thebathroom. Make sure light switches are within reach, and other important things you might need throughthe day or night. Install night-lights to help you find your way in the dark. If you are using an IV pole for yourIV or therapy, make sure that all furniture, loose carpets, and electrical cords, and other items are out of theway so you do not trip and fall while walking around with the pole.
- Make sure there is enough lighting and night lights in the bathroom.
- Wear footwear with rubber soles. Walking around with socks can be slippery and walking barefoot couldcause a foot injury, which could trigger a fall.
How to prevent poisoning:
- Store cleaning products safely and out of the reach of children.
- Do not store dangerous materials in food containers.
- Clearly label all unmarked liquid containers.
- Keep any possibly dangerous gases outside and install a gas detector in your home.
- Never mix any cleaning products together, especially bleach and ammonia (creates toxic gas).
- Monitor heaters and fireplaces. Make sure to clean them once a year before the cold weather months.
- Monitor children in the kitchen. Do not leave them unattended around stoves, microwaves or ovensbecause most poisonings can happen while parents are cooking.
- Post the poison control center phone number in your kitchen (on the refrigerator, near the phone, and store it in your cell phone).
How to prevent choking and suffocation:
- Always watch children! It is very easy for kids to choke or cut off their air supply on small items; especiallytoys. Put these items away in a safe place once they are finished with them.
- Keep all plastic bags out of the reach of children.
- Keep all strings, ropes, cords away from children.
- Practice safety when putting babies to sleep. Keep objects out of their bed that can cause them to chokeor cut off their air supply.
- Monitor children when they are eating. Teach them the proper way to chew and eat food. Cut up foodsthat can be eaten in smaller pieces for babies and smaller children. Avoid candy and other hard foods thatcan cause choking.
- Make sure to check the house regularly for small items that children may have access to and put themaway to avoid swallowing.
How to prevent water-related injuries and flooding:
- Never leave the water on when you’re not around.
- Monitor your children during bath time so that they won’t drown.
- Be cautious while bathing and don’t use electronics in or around the water(including your phone).
- Make sure the washing machine and dishwasher are turned off when you are done with them.
- Turn the water off when you leave your home for a long period of time (as long as it’s not too cold for pipesto burst).
- Keep toilet lids closed.
- If you have a swimming pool, install fencing all around to separate the house and yard from the pool. Cleareverything from the pool once finished and never leave children unsupervised while swimming.
- Make sure that all medical equipment is plugged into a properly grounded electrical outlet.
- If you have to use a three-prong adapter, make sure it is properly installed by attaching the ground wire tothe plug outlet screw.
- Use only good quality outlet “extenders” or “power strips” with internal circuit breakers. Don’t use cheapextension cords.
How to prevent fires and burns:
- Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home, most importantly in your kitchen, bedrooms andbasement. Make sure the batteries are replaced every 6 months and test your alarms every month. Havinga monitored smoke detector is an even better option because that will make sure that the fire is attended toquickly, especially if you are not home.
- Be careful when cooking. Do not leave the kitchen unattended or your food could burn which could start afire. Keep children away from the stove.
- Place covers over electrical outlets.
- Check to make sure your water heater is set no higher than 120°F.
- Make sure chimneys, fireplaces, and furnaces are regularly cleaned.
- Hire an electrician to come and check your electrical wiring yearly.
- Keep children away from matches and other fire-starting products. Never leave them alone with electronics!
- If you use oxygen in your home, make sure you understand the dangers of smoking near oxygen. Review thesteps to prevent injury that come with your oxygen. If you aren’t sure, ask your oxygen provider what they are.
- Do not leave candles lit overnight or leave them unattended. Set a reminder for you to blow out thecandles.
- Have a fire extinguisher in your home, and have it tested regularly to make sure it still works.
- Always be prepared for a fire. Create a safety plan for your household. Make sure everyone knows what todo in case of a fire. Add the following items to your safety plan:
- Alert the fire department
- Evacuate the area and rescue anyone from immediate danger
- Turn off oxygen (if related), and try to contain the fire by closing off any access, such as doors
- Only attempt to put out a fire if it is in a small localized area, otherwise leave the building and tell thefire department when you are safe
This information has been given by Preveon Specialty to help you make an emergency plan in case a natural disaster happens around you. Many areas of the United States are likely to experience natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes.
- In earthquake-prone areas, store food with long expiration dates and extra bottled water. Have atransistor radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
- Check for injuries.
- Check for any gas or water leaks. Turn off appropriate valves.
- Stay away from windows or broken glass. Wear shoes at all times.
- Evacuate the area if needed.
- If evacuation is needed, go to the nearest shelter in your community. Let the organizersknow of any special needs you have.
- Let your gas and electric companies know if there is a loss of power.
- Report any special needs for a backup generator to the electric and gas companies.
- Have a transistor radio, flashlights, batteries and/or candles available. (If you use oxygen, turn it off beforelighting candles).
- Have a cooler on hand to fill with ice packs and keep your medication(s) cool.
- In flood-prone areas, store extra food and extra bottled water. Have a transistor radio, flashlights andbatteries available. Keep a tool box nearby to shut off valves for gas and water. Report anyspecial needs for a backup generator to the electric and gas companies.
- Unplug your infusion pump unless the IV pole is touching water.
- Evacuate the area.
- If evacuation is needed, go to the nearest shelter in your community. Let the organizersknow of any special needs you have.
Every patient receiving care or services in the home should think about what they would do in the event of an emergency. Our goal is to help you plan so that we can try to give you the best, most consistent service we can during the emergency.
Know what to expect:
- If you have recently moved to this area, take the time to find out what types of natural emergencies haveoccurred in the past, and what types might be expected.
- Find out what, if any, time of year these emergencies are more common.
- Find out when you should evacuate, and when you shouldn’t.
- Your local Red Cross, police agencies, local news and radio stations usually give excellent informationand tips for planning.
- Know Where to Go
- One of the most important pieces of information you should know is the location of the closestemergency shelter.
- These shelters are opened to the public during optional and required evaluation times. They are usuallythe safest place for you to go, other than a friend or relatives home in an unaffected area.
Know what to take with you:
- If you are going to a shelter, there will be restrictions on what items you can bring with you. Not all sheltershave enough storage facilities for medication(s) that need refrigeration.
- We recommend that you call ahead and find out which shelter in your area will let you bring yourmedication(s) and medical supplies,also, let them know if you will be using medical equipment thatrequiresan electrical outlet.
- During our planning for a natural emergency, we will contact you and deliver, if possible, at least oneweek’s worth of medication(s) and supplies. Bring all your medication(s) and supplies with you to theshelter.
Reaching us if there are no phones:
- How do you reach us during a natural emergency if the phone lines don’t work? How would you contact 22| PREVEON SPECIALTYus? If there is warning of the emergency, such as a hurricane watch, we will make every attempt to contact you and give you the number of our cell phone. (Cell phones often work even when the regular land phone lines do not).
- If you have no way to call our cell phone, you can try to reach us by having someone you know call usfrom his or her cell phone. (Many times, cell phone companies set up communication centers duringnatural disasters. If one is set up in your area, you can ask them to contact us).
- If the emergency was unforeseen, we will try to locate you by visiting your home, or by contacting yourhome nursing agency. If travel is restricted due to damage from the emergency, we will try to contactyou through local law government agencies.
- We would much rather prepare you for an emergency ahead of time than wait until it has happened andthen send you the supplies you need.
- To do this, we need for you to give us as much information as possible before the emergency. We mayask you for the name and phone number of a close family member, or a close friend or neighbor. We mayask you where you will go if an emergency happens. Will you go to a shelter, or a relatives home? If yourprovider has instructed you to go to a hospital, which one is it?
- Having the address of your evacuation site, if it is in another city, may allow us to service your therapyneeds through another pharmacy.
- Get a cooler and ice or freezer gel-packs to transport your medication(s).
- Get all of your medication(s) information and teaching materials together and take them with you if youevacuate.
- Pack one week’s worth of supplies in a plastic-lined box or waterproof bag or box. Make sure the seal iswatertight.
- Make sure to put antibacterial soap and paper towels into your supply kit.
- If possible, get waterless hand disinfectant from a local store which is very useful if you don’t have runningwater.
- If you are going to a friend or relatives home during evacuation, leave their phone number and addresswith Preveon Specialty and your home nursing agency.
- When you return to your home, contact your home nursing agency and Preveon Specialty so we can visitand see what supplies you need.
For more information:
There is much more to know about planning for and surviving during a natural emergency or disaster. Review the information from FEMA at: www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/areyouready_full.pdf. The information includes:
- Get informed about dangers/risks and emergencies that may affect you and your family.
- Develop an emergency plan.
- Collect and put together a disaster supplies kit, which should include:
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Three-day supply of water - one gallon of water per person, per day
- Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manua
- Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper)
- Matches and waterproof container
- Extra clothing
- Kitchen cooking utensils, including a can opener
- Photocopies of credit and identification cards
- Cash and coins
- Special needs items, such as prescription medication(s), eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries
- Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers
- Other items to meet your specific family needs
- Learn where to look for shelter from all types of dangers.
- Identify the community warning systems and evacuation routes.
- Include in your plan needed information from community and school plans.
- Learn what to do for specific dangers. Practice and maintain your plan.
An Important Reminder!
During any emergency situation, if you are unable to contact our pharmacy and you are in need of your prescribed medication, equipment or supplies, you must go to the nearest emergency room or other treatment facility for treatment.