Originally published September 17 2014
Have you prepared your 'sick room' for a pandemic outbreak possibility?
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) With news this past week that some scientists believe that the Ebola virus which is currently ravaging West Africa could go airborne, now is the time to think about constructing your own "sick room" to prepare yourself and your family -- and your home -- beforehand. A sick room will help you contain the disease and will go along way toward keeping the virus from spreading.
As reported by Tess Pennington at ReadyNutrition.com, the best choice for a sick room is a bedroom or some other room that is separate from the rest of your home. "Ensure that the room has good lighting, a window that opens, and easy access to a personal bathroom with a sink and running water," Pennington advises.
The most important aspect is, of course, preventing yourself from being exposed to the Ebola virus -- or any other deadly contagious disease -- in the first place. That should include making sure that "communal areas" like kitchens, bathrooms and the like are always cleaned thoroughly with a good disinfectant, on a daily basis, to avoid spreading germs.
"Towels, water bottles, drinking glasses, and other personal care items used by the sick person, should not be used by other family members," Pennington wrote. "Other preventative measures for the sick room could be made ahead of time to make the room ready before it is needed."
Things to consider
Making sure that you have everything you need in one room will make for better and easier accessibility and, of course, better containment of the illness. Pennington goes on to suggest some additional preventative measures:
-- Make sure that you isolate all items that could have come into contact with a sick person, like used tissues and clothing, and handle them just like there are germs from the illness contaminating them (because there probably are). Some medical professionals recommend double-bagging up waste products for initial storage (and later proper biohazard disposal -- you can contact a local hospital for instructions). You can also bag and seal dirty laundry.
-- Try to use disposable plates and cutlery when possible; that way, you can simply dispose of them in the sick room.
-- Use heavy plastic bags for any waste items, especially tissues, which can be sealed before leaving the sick room. It is best to that ensure you have some sort of hand-cleaning solution, but use a natural solution; try vinegar.
-- You will need to regularly clean bathroom fixtures, the tub and toilet used by your sick patients, perhaps three to four times a day (or at least after each use), with a disinfectant. You can make a natural disinfectant using baking soda, vinegar and water.
-- Protect yourself by wearing a raincoat or other washable outerwear over your clothes when you are in the sick room caring for the ill. The gown will provide a barrier between you and the illness; it should remain in the sick room, however.
-- Use a disposable mask that you can throw away in a sealable trash bag in the sick room. The patient should wear one, as well. And when you leave, wash your hands in a natural disinfectant. Plastic disposable gloves should be worn and disposed of in the sick room.
-- Limit the number of people who go into and out of the sick room. This may seem obvious; by limiting the number of people in contact with the sick person, you obviously limit the chances of spreading the disease. But often, especially with loved ones, we might take risks that we otherwise would not take. Commit to a plan of limited exposure and stick to it. Pick someone who will provide the primary care and have a back-up person, but limit the number of caregivers to as few as possible.
Here are some items to consider when it comes time to stock a sick room:
- Bed linens, pillows and blankets
- A wastebasket lined with a sealable bag
- A pitcher or large bottle, for water
- Large plastic dishpan
- Clipboard with paper and pen, so you can keep a daily log of events and changes in the patient's condition
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radio
- A good flashlight or other source of light, and make sure that you have extra batteries
- A large clothes hamper or, better yet, plastic garbage can that can be lined and sealed with a lid
- Bathing items and toiletries like a toothbrush (and spare)
- Some sort of noisemaker, so the patient can call you for assistance
- Natural disinfectants and cleaners
- Disposable masks
- Spare sealable bags
- Smocks or plastic aprons/rain gear.
These are just some of the items that you may need. You will also have to consider other special needs that are specific to your patient. And one other thing, Pennington says: You may be caring for a patient (or patients) for days or weeks, so your supplies should reflect that potentiality.
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