patient safety in healthcare

Breathe Easy: 5 Considerations for Asthma Patient Safety

patient safety in healthcare

Hospitals and healthcare organizations should ensure an environment free of allergens and environmental contaminants to increase patient safety for those afflicted with asthma. (Photo courtesy of 123RF.com)

The following guest post on patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Dixie Somers.

Asthma can be triggered at any time and in any type of environment. In a healthcare setting where nurses and physicians are trying to treat patients who may have severe asthma problems, the presence of allergens and environmental contaminants can be particularly troublesome. Keeping these patients safe requires additional measures to allow them to receive appropriate treatment without causing an attack.

Stress

Being in a hospital or clinic itself can be stressful and can bring on an attack before the individual can apply counter measures. Maintaining a positive, compassionate environment can help to reduce stress levels and the risk of an attack. Physicians can ensure that the patient is taking appropriate medications before they are admitted to a healthcare facility.

Pollen, Mold, Dust Mites

Careful attention should be given to the cleanliness of the environment, not only in regard to dirt brought in from the outside, but also to limit the amount of pollen, mold and dust mites that are known triggers for asthma attacks. Air purification systems should be installed and regularly maintained to ensure that the number of allergens in the environment is minimized.

Cold, Dry Air

Indoor temperatures should be carefully maintained at a comfortable level with care taken to provide appropriate moisture levels to prevent irritable of airways in affected patients. A humidity level between 30 to 50 percent is considered ideal. This action will benefit both those with asthma and non-asthmatic patients.

Chemical Fumes

Harsh cleaning products and other chemical sources that could produce fumes that could lead to an asthma attack should be minimized. Proactive efforts to require maintenance services to use non-toxic, organic cleaning compounds that are both effective and safe will help to protect asthmatic patients.

Record of Previous Hospitalizations

Patients who have severe asthma or who do not manage their symptoms well can be subject to increased risk for an attack in a healthcare setting because a number of common triggers may be present. In addition, research indicates that those who have previously been admitted for asthma problems are at higher risk for serious health effects when subsequently hospitalized. Because of these issues, health professionals must take particular care to ensure these patients are given proper instructions before, during and after their treatment in a facility.

Patients with asthma present additional concerns for healthcare professionals when they are being admitted to healthcare institutions. Implementing a number of measures in advance can help to ensure the safe medical care of these individuals.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger from Phoenix, Arizona, who loves most to write for health, technology, and business niches. Dixie is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.