Principles for home pneumonia assistance teams
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This page is part of the protocols and policies for home pneumonia assistance teams, a system currently under active development and trial by queercare.
- The healthcare system is currently under-resourced and stretched in normal circumstances, to the extent that many conditions normally given medical assistance are supplemented by support from non medical networks of care.
- The healthcare system is likely, despite preparations for the covid pandemic, to become far more stretched, and triage may result in many patients who would normally be treated in hospital (though not in an ICU) being treated in the home.
- Many of these may receive few or no visits from GPs, home nursing teams, or other medical professionals.
- The most likely ongoing physical conditions in such situations during this period will be pneumonia, and sepsis arising as a result of pneumonia.
- Most of the tools required for the effective assessment of the severity of pneumonia (pulse oximetry, ascertainment of respiratory rate and taking of blood pressure) can be trained on relatively quickly.
- Assessment of the use of accessory muscles in breathing is a relatively easy skill to teach, and is useful in assessment of pneumonia.
- Auscultation of lung sounds is a difficult skill which is useful in the assessment of pneumonia, and this requires experience and training beyond the minimal.
- Longer records of spo2, temperature, respiratory rate and blood pressure can help healthcare professionals make better clinical decisions.
- Communities should work to ensure that as many patients who are receiving treatment in the community as possible can have accurate records of spo2, BP, respiratory rate, use of accessory muscles and temperature.
- The tools to do these projects are likely to be relatively rare, and while minimal training is needed in them, it is more effective for some community members to specialise in their use, leaving others to carry out day to day care work.
- Formation of teams to carry out assistance for front line carers and assist in monitoring of diagnostic signs is a potentially useful system.