Author: Skip Scribner, President of Advanced Aeromedical, Inc.
As I write this short article, most who read this are probably just a little “stir crazy” from sheltering at home, but undoubtedly we all are looking forward to the time in our future when it is safe to once again travel. Oh to visit loved ones in person (social distance of course) and see those places that we have all longed to (grocery store, etc..). But what will this look like and how should a compromised person who is already oxygen dependent prepare for this adventure.
PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING !!
Here’s a list of essentials to consider:
- Consider how long you will be away from your home and what will be your source of oxygen until returning to your house.
- Face covering. The CDC advises EMS personnel to cover the patient’s face with a simple surgical mask when wearing a cannula, so the same should apply to you as an independent person.
- A facemask should be worn by the patient for source control. If a nasal cannula is in place, a facemask should be worn over the nasal cannula. Alternatively, an oxygen mask can be used if clinically indicated. If the patient requires intubation, see below for additional precautions for aerosol-generating procedures.
- Gloves: Multiple pairs of disposable gloves. Change and properly dispose of after use. Be careful not to touch your face. Use hand sanitizer in between times. Be aware of and do your best to prevent cross contamination, such as touching things with your gloves, like your mobile phone, and not sanitizing the telephone before touching it without gloves. And remember not to hold the phone on your face unless sanitized…..
- Disinfecting wipes: Start your day with a good wipe down of the normal touch points in your home and be sure to give your car a good wipedown on all those touch points as well.
- Shoes: Remove and leave outside your home the shoes you wore away from home. Or upon entry to your house, after removing shoes, spray them with a disinfectant like Lysol spray.
And this is just local travel! What if I want to take a vacation?
Similar, but more intensive planning involved.