Friday, October 24, 2014

Canadian Researchers Develop One-Hour Test for Sepsis

A new test developed in Canada could reduce the time needed to diagnose sepsis to just one hour. The current time needed for a sepsis diagnosis is 24 to 48 hours.

The diagnostic test, which would look for a specific gene signature, has not yet been developed, but the technology for it exists. According to the developers, the test could work by a resident providing a blood sample that is then tested through technology including mass spectrometry. If the gene signature is found, it would indicate that sepsis will develop and organ failure will follow.

To learn more, click here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

CDC Updates PPE Requirements for Ebola Patient Care

The CDC recently updated its guidance on the personal protective equipment, or PPE, to be used by healthcare workers managing patients with the Ebola virus. The agency now recommends the following:

  • An N95 respirator in combination with a surgical hood and full face shield or a PAPR with a full face shield, helmet or headpiece
  • A disposable fluid-resistant or impermeable gown that extends to at least the mid-calf or a coverall without an integrated hood
  • Two pairs of disposable nitrile examination gloves with extended cuffs 
  • Disposable fluid-resistant or impermeable boot covers that extend to at least mid-calf or disposable shoe covers 
  • A disposable fluid-resistant or impermeable apron that covers the torso down to the mid-calf level (this is only necessary when caring for Ebola patients who are vomiting or have diarrhea) 

Additionally, the CDC noted that all healthcare workers involved in caring for Ebola patients must receive repeated training and have demonstrated competence in performing all Ebola-related infection control practices and procedures.

To read the complete guidance, click here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Get Ready for Flu Season 2014

The CDC has released its guidance for the 2014-’15 flu season, which could begin at any time and last until as late as May. The agency recommends that healthcare facilities implement five core infection prevention strategies to halt the spread of flu.

The flu vaccine

The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months, including all healthcare workers and nursing home residents, receive a flu shot unless contraindicated. This year’s flu shot is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause most of the season’s illnesses. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for flu antibodies to begin developing and providing protection, so the vaccine should be administered as soon as it is available.

Implement respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette 

Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette should be observed by all healthcare workers as well as all visitors, both at their arrival and throughout the duration of their visits. The CDC recommends posting visual alerts, such as signs and posters, at the entrance and throughout the facility containing information on how and when to perform these procedures. Supplies such as hand sanitizer, tissues and masks should also be readily available for staff, residents and visitors.

Monitor and manage ill healthcare workers 

Healthcare workers who develop a fever and respiratory symptoms should be instructed not to report to work. If they are already at work, they should stop all resident-care activities, don a facemask and notify their supervisor and infection control contact. The ill worker should not return to work until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicines).

Adhere to infection control precautions

When caring for a resident with the flu, all healthcare workers should observe standard precautions, droplet precautions and exercise caution when performing aerosol-generating procedures (such as bronchoscopy, sputum induction, elective intubation and extubation).

Implement environmental and engineering infection control measures

Standard cleaning and disinfection procedures should be performed in all settings within the facility, including resident-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed. When feasible, consider installing engineering controls that reduce or eliminate exposure, such as curtains that can be drawn between residents in shared areas.

For additional details on the CDC’s recommendations, click here.

ProMed stocks all of the products you need to fight the spread of flu and other infections in your facility, including:

  • Hand hygiene products and dispensers
  • Isolation products 
  • Linen bags designed to handle infectious waste
  • Surface disinfectants 

To learn more about any of these items, contact your ProMed territory manager, give us a call at (800) 648-5190 or visit us online at

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Report: Average Per-Day Rate for LTC Now $280

According to a new report, the average per-day rate for a nursing home is at $280 and is expected to rise to $284 by the end of the year. This represents a 3.6 increase over last year.

The report was conducted by California-based commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap, who said their findings show that the economy has turned a corner and that improvements in the housing market (namely, residents being able to access funds previously tied up in their homes) have also created favorable conditions for long-term care communities.

To learn more, click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Study: Increased Hospice Services Lead to Decreased Hospitalizations

According to a new report, increasing hospice services at nursing homes can reduce hospital admissions among all residents, including those not enrolled in hospice.

The researchers found that for every 10 percent increase in hospice expansion at a facility, the risk of hospitalization decreased 5.1 percent for non-hospice residents and 4.8 percent for residents enrolled in hospice.

According to the study's authors, their findings "shed light on nursing home end-of-life care delivery, collaboration among providers and cost benefit analysis of hospice care."

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Positioning Solutions from ProMed

Gone are the days of a "one-product-for-all-needs" mentality when it comes to positioning cushions. Today, there's a product for every situation.

We created the list below to help you select the perfect cushions for your residents’ individual requirements. All of these cushions are available from ProMed.

  • Foam wheelchair cushions are inexpensive, lightweight, provide even support and are available in multiple densities.
  • Gel wheelchair cushions provide excellent pressure redistribution and are very comfortable. 
  • Gel/foam hybrid cushions combine the benefits of foam and gel cushions. 
  • Air flotation (inflated cell) cushions can be inflated to the resident’s specific needs and can be modified to help relieve pressure sores. They are waterproof and will not bottom out when inflated properly. 
  • Lap positioners provide upper torso support and can help assist with upper body alignment. They also serve as a gentle reminder to residents to stay seated.
  • Abductor (pommel) cushions hold the legs slightly apart to help keep a resident’s hips and knees properly aligned and reduce forward sliding. They can also be used to help prevent hip dislocation following surgery.
  • Wedge cushions offer improved posture and slide control.

To learn more, contact your ProMed territory manager, give us a call at 800.648.5190 or visit us online at