MedWatch Today: Healthcare Hero, Infection Prevention Team

Med Watch Today

The Infection Prevention Team at Community Regional Medical Center ensures all who are in the hospital are safe from any infections. We honor them this week as our Healthcare Heroes for working on the frontlines during this Coronavirus pandemic.

Our cameras got a first hand look at the alternative care sites set up just outside of Community Regional’s emergency department. These tents are used to accommodate the influx of patients due to COVID-19. The Infection Prevention team monitors patients and personnel to make sure there isn’t an increase number of infections, especially cautious of the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Libke is an epidemiologist and the Director of Infection Control at UCSF Fresno. He said, “It’s a daily learning curve that we’re on because the rules are changing, how to approach the patients and the rules are changing on how to help prevent the infections from spreading and the rules are changing as to how we determine that there’s no longer a risk to themselves or to others. So our learning curve has been fairly steep and keeps going up at this point, but our Infection Prevention teams have really responded well to the challenge and I think we have kept up with all the recommendations and have been pretty consistent in our response to any areas where the infection might be increasing and responding appropriately to that.”

Jennifer Trytten is an Infection Control Officer at Community Medical Centers. She added, “We’ve really tried to stay one step ahead of where the virus is going by keeping an eye on what other hospitals have been doing, what the experience has been, where are trends looking like they’re going, but it’s been tough. This virus has turned left on us a lot of times. We learn new information all the time about how it’s transmitted, what things to watch for, and as that happens, we have to adjust our practices so that we can preserve how much protective equipment we have with the gowns and the masks and use them in the best way.”

The team also monitors laboratory testing to see where an infection is occuring and who is getting them.

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