What can terminally ill patients in home care situations do to be ready for disaster? On this episode of the Disaster Podcast we talk about hospice disaster preparedness challenges. Hosts Jamie Davis, the Podmedic and Sam Bradley are joined by Drs. Joe Holley and Arlyn LaBair to talk about how patients in special needs home care situations are at special risk from interruptions in services caused by natural and manmade disasters.
The panel talks about managing and documenting records of hospice and other home care patients in a community. This is the best way for emergency services in a community to be ready to know where the response and support is needed during an event. Creating databases of special needs patients helps to prepare for power outages where electrically driven medical equipment will begin to fail on short lived battery power.
Hospice disaster preparedness begins with home care agencies being prepared themselves for disasters. How these organizations and businesses prepare for their own preparedness impacts how they are able to continue servicing their at-risk clients. Durable medical equipment delivery and maintenance, oxygen suppliers, and other services will be interrupted for a period time. The duration of that interruption will impact patient comfort and, in some cases, survival.
During Hurricane Katrina several facilities and healthcare professionals had to make some very difficult decisions about patient care and outcomes when their equipment battery supplies began to dwindle. In some cases, the physicians had to prescribe lethal doses of pain medications to ease the patients into death painlessly. These difficult decisions happened when services were interrupted by the disaster for too long to sustain the patients any more.
Again, a special thank-you to Paragon Medical Education Group for their continued support of this podcast as our partners in this endeavor to bring disaster medicine to you. Check out their page and educational resources that can help your system be more prepared for what happens in your area.