Ellie has had so many colds and infections since the start of cold and flu season. It seems we just can't get back to normal. I've decided I'm posting reminders for everyone who cares for Ellie because her safety is too important to overlook even the simplest rules.
Hand hygiene is super duper important! It doesn't matter if you're wearing gloves to care for someone if you've scratched an itch or adjusted your clothing. If you've touched anything you've likely already contaminated your gloves with some kind of bug that should be inside a trach. If you've just washed or sanitized and you wipe your patient's snot, your hands are no longer clean enough to do proper/clean trach care or suctioning. This is basic but it's really amazing how many times I catch people doing these things without realizing they've even done it.
When in the hospital, I frequently see hospital staff answer their phones or pagers with gloved hands while in Ellie's room. EVERYTIME I ask them to please wash and reapply clean gloves. ONE time I didn't do this and I feel guilty to this day because that was the admission Ellie picked up Klebsiella on her second culture after being inpatient. I am Ellie's #1 advocate and if I don't protect her from even well-meaning caregivers then I'm not doing my job well enough to keep her well. I can't sit idle or be shy because someone with more training in trach care or medicine isn't following basic hand hygiene rules.
The following sign is now posted in Ellie's bedroom as a reminder for all of us at home. I hope it helps and I hope she stops getting sick! Enough of this crud already!
Are you a trach parent living the #TrachLyfe? What else do you do to protect your precious loved ones? Please share! Feel free to download and print or share this flyer. I hope it can help someone else prevent an illness and hospital admission!
Courtney is Ellie's mom. She and her villiage have been raising Ellie (and her big brother Nathan) and learning how to live with and manage life around Ellie's physical disabilities and special needs. It's not easy but our villiage is amazing. Thank you to all of you who support us, love us, and provide hope, wishes and prayers.