The Plan

 


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The Plan
Amherst Pandemic Planning Conference

 The Department of Public Health and the CDC have plans and checklists mostly geared to action at the state level, that members of communities would benefit from reading to reduce  the surprise element  when the pandemic hits. Even though the above mentioned plans are ready for implementation, local communities need to plan for the areas in their communities that  the state is not, and can not, make  plans for. Colleges and Universities need to have plans for what will happen for students and employees if classes are cancelled, and how these decisions and plans will  be communicated to those who will  be affected. Buisinesses both large and small need to make policies regarding buisiness closings, employee absenses etc. In each community, extra beds for clinics  must be stored and locations for clinics  should be identified. The population should be educated ahead of time about policies regarding who is admitted to the hospitals, when to go to a hospital instead of  a clinic, and what can be done at home  to care for infected persons who do not need medical care.

 American College Health Association Guidlines for Pandemic Planning:
 http://www.acha.org/info_resources/06_Pandemic_Guidelines.pdf

 Frequently Asked Questions About Influenza Specialty Care Units (ISCUs):
 http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/emergency_prep/iscu_faq.pdf

 Health Care Planning:
 http://www.mass.gov/dph/cdc/epii/flu/pandemic_plan_4.pdf

 Pandemic Flu:
 http://www.mass.gov/dph/cdc/epii/flu/pandemic.htm

Local Public Health Planning (MA):
http://www.masslocalinstitute.org/pages.aspx?p=18&c=10

News Article on Local Planning:
http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/08/06/hlsb0806.htm

Recommendations

Towns should be prepared to handle a situation like this, and being prepared for such an event would not be regrettable.

Supplies:
Supplies should be stockpiled ahead of time. If there were a quarantine, and supplies could not get back and forth, the towns are left with what they already have. In either basements of town buildings, public schools or colleges, there should be:

General Supplies:
Enough beds for at least the number of those predicted to need hospital care, adhesive tape, Angio caths, bedpans, Biohazard bags, blankets, blood pressure cuffs, disposable thermometers, disinfectant cleaning agents, emesis basins, gauze bandages, gloves (latex and vinyl), hand washing solutions, IV administration kits, IV fluids, oral fluids (Gatorade, apple juice, bottled water, Coke), paper products: drapes, pillow cases, exam table paper, gowns, peak flow meters, pillows, pretzels/crackers, pulse Oximeters, surgical masks, thermometer probe covers, urinals.

Personal Protective equipment:
Respirators, face shields/visors/goggles, Non-sterile long-sleeved gowns (disposable and fluid resistant)

Medications:
Acetaminophen (suppositories and oral tabs), antibiotics, antiemetics (suppositories and injection), cough suppressants (liquid syrups, lozenges), decongestants, NSAIDs. 

(See www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/guidelines/infectioncontrol1/en)

Preventative Equipment:
Enough face masks to prevent the transmission of the respiratory disease. This would potentially help the spread of disease both in the town and at home.  

Medical Workers:
Since the amount of available medical staff will be decreased due to illness and those staying home, it will be necessary to find and train volunteers that will be willing to come in and help out regardless of the situation. The towns could send letters to all of its' residents asking for volunteers and setting up volunteer meeting and training times. Volunteers will be needed for non-medical tasks, such as organization of medical facilities and preparation. Volunteers could also be more highly trained to do things such as be a nurses' assistant in order to help the actual trained medical workers with such a large number of patients. Both medical and non-medical volunteers are needed in the Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer program.