DPH Released Updated Guidance on PPE Use

DPH has adopted a universal facemask use policy.

On July 6th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) updated the Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance based on CDC recommendations to clarify the PPE that health care personnel (HCP) use in a clinical care area, especially during this time when providers are trying to optimize PPE supplies. Although this guidance is specifically written for health facility use, there are some best practices that may be helpful for home health agencies when reviewing and updating their protocols.

In this updated guidance DPH has adopted a universal facemask use policy for health care personnel, to use at all times when in the clinical setting.  Facemasks are defined as surgical or procedure masks worn to protect the mouth/nose against infectious materials.  Homemade and cloth facemasks are not considered PPE. Their capability to protect HCP has not been demonstrated and they have not been shown to be effective in preventing transmission of illness.

DPH also updated the guidance regarding the use of KN95 respirators to be consistent with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) update to the Non-NIOSH Approved Respirator Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) concerning non-NIOSH-approved respirators that have been approved in other countries.   Consistent with the FDA’s updated EUA, KN95 respirators may be considered for use as a substitute for N95 respirators only if:

  • N95 respirators are not available, and
  • The KN95 respirators have been tested for filtration effectiveness, and
  • The use of KN95 respirators has been approved by your organization.

If a N95 respirator or equivalent is not available, a facemask should be used.

For more details on optimizing PPE refer to the updated guidance.

Image Credit: NurseTogether / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Best Around the (Home Care) Web

As a new feature, the Alliance will scour the blogosphere each week for the news affecting the home care industry.  Here are highlights from this week:

Prevent Falls with a Nightlight

Are you looking for a device that can help your loved one lower his or her risk of falling in the home? How about one that fits in the palm of your hand? Surprisingly this post isn’t about the latest generation of smart phones, but the good old-fashioned nightlight.  — VNSNY

CDC: Most Recent Flu Vaccine Ineffective For Seniors

This season’s flu vaccine was almost completely ineffective in people 65 and older, which could explain why rates of hospitalization and death have been some of the highest ever recorded for that age group, according to early estimates released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For people under 65, getting vaccinated this season reduced the need to go to the doctor for the flu by one-half to two-thirds.   — USA Today, via CommonHealthBlog

Talking to Seniors About ID Theft & Financial Security

Identity theft may never happen to one of your senior loved ones – – and we hope it does not. It’s so much easier to take protective steps up front than it is to repair the mess it can become afterward, however, that we should help the seniors in our lives consider and implement those steps. — via Senior Care Corner

Report: Alzheimer’s Cases Could Triple By 2050

Doctors, researchers and public health experts are already bracing for an onslaught of new patients by developing drugs and preparing caregivers for the emotional and physical stress.

“This is an issue that’s going to touch each of us personally or someone that we know and care about,” said Lora Connolly, director of the California Department of Aging, which expects to be serving as many as 1.2 million patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia in the state by 2030. “It won’t happen overnight, but the pressure will continue to mount.” — LA Times, via CommonHealth

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Training for the CDC’s World Health Organization Growth Chart is Now Available

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created an online training course for health care providers and others who measure and assess growth of infants and young children. The course is using the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Charts to Assess Growth with Children less than 2 Years of Age in the U.S.  The recommendation for children less than 2 years of age is based in part on the recognition that breastfeeding is the recommended standard for infant feeding.  In the WHO charts, the growth of the healthy breastfed infant is intended to be the standard against which the growth of all other infants is compared. This online training takes 45 minutes to complete; there are self-assessment questions in each section.

The World Health Organization released a new international growth standard for infants and young children ages birth to 5 years of age. The standard shows how infants and children should grow.  The CDC now recommends that health care providers use:

  •    The WHO growth standard charts  for children aged birth to less than two years regardless of type of feeding, to monitor growth in the U.S.
  •    The CDC growth reference charts  for children aged two to twenty years to monitor growth in the U.S.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.