Natural Disaster Planning for At-Risk Hospice Patients

This article is the first in a series about our hospice’s response to the storm emergency.We triaged patients to maintain their safety, based on their risk of flooding at home and the risk of electricity loss (especially for patients who relied on high oxygen flows). We moved high risk patients to care centers with low flood risks and back-up electrical generators. This included moving at-risk patients out of hospice care centers, assisted living, nursing homes, or their homes.At my care center, we took 16 single-occupancy rooms, and set it up for 30 patients and their families (double-occupancy for all but 2 rooms). Space was cramped, limiting privacy and comfort. Rooms were set up with portable hospital beds and sheet curtains as dividers. To maximize safety and comfort, we organized patients based on the criteria below.General Criteria for Rooming (Determined most room assignments)Gender: The initial criterion was the most straightforward. We assumed that rooms should be single-gender for patient comfort. This assumption was the strongest limit to our ability to accept patients, as we ended up with a (predictable) predominance of women. This necessitated rearranging rooms on an ongoing basis, to maximize occupancy.Oxygen needs: Most respite patients came to the care center for concerns of oxygen availability (high-flow oxygen needs and high risk of power loss), so this was a critical consideration. Our rooms were designed as single occupancy, and each had a single ox...
Source: Pallimed: A Hospice and Palliative Medicine Blog - Category: Palliative Care Tags: disaster emergency preparedness hospice hurricane inpatient rich room weather Source Type: blogs

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