Patient Safety, Practices & Tips

Coronavirus Brief for Caregivers 5 Tips for Caregiver Safety During the Covid-19 Crisis

Editor’s notes: Rather than long-winded expressions of concern – which is what seems to be occurring regularly from airlines to grocery stores and everything in between, PPAHS will present coronavirus briefs. We hope that you find this brief on tips for caregivers to be useful and just long enough to be of interest.

The quandary for caregivers during the current Covid-19 crisis is the conflicting recommendations demanding social distancing and the need to make sure that the person that they are caring for is still receiving the attention and care that they need.

Here are 5 steps you can take as a caregiver:

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Blood Clots

What You Need to Know About Amniotic Fluid Embolism 5 Resources on Amniotic Fluid Embolism

You may have never heard of amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), but if you are pregnant or know someone who is, AFE is a condition that you may want to learn more about. Little has been written or researched about AFE, so you might want to refer to these articles to learn more.

A Primer on Amniotic Fluid Embolism

As described in a recent article published November 26, 2019, in Healthline, here’s why you may want to know more about AFE:

Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), also known as anaphylactoid syndrome of pregnancy, is a pregnancy complication that causes life-threatening conditions, such as heart failure.

It can affect you, your baby, or both of you. It happens when amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding your unborn child) or fetal cells, hair, or other debris make their way into your blood.

AFE is rare. Though estimates vary, the AFE Foundation reports the condition occurs in only 1 out of every 40,000 deliveries in North America (and 1 in every 53,800 deliveries in Europe). However, it’s a leading cause of death during labor or shortly after birth.

Digging Deeper into Amniotic Fluid Embolism 

If you’d like more detail, this article by Lisa E Moore, MD, FACOG (Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine) provides a more clinical overview of AFE. It takes the reader through a more detailed discussion of:

  • Pathophysiology 
  • Etiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Prognosis, and 
  • Patient education 

Amniotic Fluid Embolism Registry

A third article on AFE is this one by the National Organization for Rare Diseases. It provides a good overview but unfortunately underscores that little or no research has been published on AFE and that more research needs to be done:

Due to the rarity of the disease, there are no treatment trials that have been tested on a large group of patients. More research is necessary to determine the long-term safety and effectiveness of various treatments for amniotic fluid embolism proposed in the medical literature.

Of interest, this article discusses an international patient registry of women with amniotic fluid embolism that is being maintained by the AFE Foundation and Baylor College of Medicine. You may want to check it out.

Support if You Have Amniotic Fluid Embolism 

A great website for those with AFE looking for support and to connect with others who have AFE is https://www.afesupport.org/get-support/

What you need to know about Amniotic Fluid Embolism

And, of course, there is this article written by PPAHS’s clinical nurse consultant, Lynn Razzano, “What you need to know about Amniotic Fluid Embolism,” which discusses why AFE is a condition that warrants greater attention.

Patient Safety

Fact and Fake News About the Safety of E-cigarettes 3 Truths About E-cigarette Safety and Their Place in Smoking Cessation

An outbreak of lung injuries among e-cigarette users across the United States has focused national attention on the potential dangers of vaping, prompting the federal government and some states to take policy steps in response.

According to the CDC, e-cigarettes (also known as e-cigs, e-hookahs, vapes, vape pens, tank systems, or mods) have become extremely popular. The increase in their use may be attributed, among other factors, to the perception that e-cigarettes are not harmful, do not contain nicotine, and may help cigarette smokers quit smoking.

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Patient Safety

November is National Family Caregivers Month Be Care Carious!

Family caregivers want their loved ones to have the best care possible – at the doctor’s office, at the hospital, and at home. We encourage family caregivers across the country to ask questions, explore options and share in the care decisions that affect the health and well‐being of their loved ones.

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Must Reads, Physician-Patient Relationship

The Power of Conversation to Affect Patient Outcomes Must Read on Patient-to-Clinician Communications

Can a simple conversation between a patient and a clinician improve that patient’s health outcomes?

Medicine is so predicated on science – which consists of physical interventions, like taking medications and undergoing surgery – that the impact of “just” words may be overlooked.

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Blood Clots, Practices & Tips

Blood Clots Can Happen with Anyone, Don’t Think It Can’t Happen to You or Your Loved One Know Your VTE Risk Factors on World Thrombosis Day 2019

In celebration of World Thrombosis Day 2019, here are four much-watch videos on the need to assess all maternal patients for the risk of VTE and to provide the recommended prophylaxis treatment, depending on whether the mother is antepartum or postpartum.

Blood Clots Are Preventable in Pregnant Mothers

Blood clots are preventable in pregnant mothers, but to make this happen, all maternal patients need to be assessed for the risk of DVT and, if the patient is found to be at risk, the patient must be provided the recommended prophylactic treatments. In this video, Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director) discusses PPAHS put together an expert panel to develop the OB VTE Safety Recommendations. He encourages all maternal patients to be assessed and treated for VTE.

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Must Reads, Opioid Safety

We Need to Rethink How We Use Opioids and Manage Pain

Financial responsibility for the opioid crisis is finally being meted out – Purdue Pharma is in the midst of settling thousands of opioid lawsuits and Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million for its opioid-related actions. These two pharmaceutical giants are likely just the tip of the defendant iceberg, with more lawsuits still to be filed and decided.

However, as much as some may wish to demonize opioids and their use, it should not be forgotten that opioids and their use are here to stay. Opioids are necessary for many medical procedures – could major surgery be done without opioids? As well, opioids are a necessity for many patients to manage their pain and for their chronic conditions.

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Opioid Safety

Where’s the J&J that Managed the Tylenol Crisis? The Opioid Crisis, A Story of Corporate Mismanagement

Editor’s note: In this editorial from the desk of PPAHS’s Executive Director,  Johnson & Johnson could have taken a lead in the opioid crisis, but has chosen not to.

By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Recently, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a company that “believe(s) good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress,” was ordered to pay $572 million by Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court in Oklahoma. Reported The New York Times about the judgment:

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