Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Code Flu

It's called the common cold (google.com/flutrends).

After eight agonizing hours spent working in Fast Track and witnessing a nearly unbroken string of "upper respiratory tract infection" dispositions, I have decided that the Big City ED needs to implement a Code Flu protocol.

Upon presentation to the Emergency Department, patients between the ages of 18 and 65 must undergo rapid screening to assess whether symptoms (cough x 1, sneezing, fussiness >5/10, being sleepy, runny nose lasting longer than 2 minutes, general achiness, wanting to skip school/work) warrant activation of a Code Flu Protocol.  If any of the above criteria are met, the triage nurse, in consultation with the Charge Nurse, will instruct the secretary to overhead page Code Flu with a D2C (door to couch) goal of 5 minutes.

The Code Flu Protocol requires:
*Patients will be brought back to a comfy couch to be evaluated by an emergency physician.  
*Trauma Nurse will provide a heated blanket to the patient on the comfy couch.
*Respiratory will be paged for a stat portable humidifier.
*Pharmacy Tech will deliver a pre-mixed bag of IV chicken soup.
*ICU Code Team will rapidly respond with sterile tissues and high-dose antihistimine.
*Mom will be paged to take the patient's temperature and provide prn reassurance.
*Upon stabilization, and with approval of the attending physician, IT Services may modify the cardiac monitor to display daytime television.

I think it's going to be a roaring success.

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