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Patient Safety

Hand-washing instructions

Infections are serious. The best way to make sure you do not get an infection is to wash your hands often. Remember to always wash your hands before and after you prepare or handle any medication.

  1. Collect the supplies:
    • Soap
    • Paper towels or a clean cloth towel.
  2. Wet your hands with warm water.
  3. Place a small amount of soap on your hands.
  4. Rub your hands briskly together for at least 30 seconds.
  5. Don’t forget about the in-betweens of your fingers.
  6. Rinse your hands with warm water.
  7. Dry your hands with a paper towel or clean cloth towel.
  8. Turn off your faucet with the towel.
  9. If you touch anything (your hair, for example), sneeze into your hands or feel that your hands may no longer be clean, wash your hands again before continuing with your care. If no water supply is available, use an alcohol-based antibacterial hand cleanser.

Washing hands under a faucet.

 

  • Adverse drug reactions

    Patients experiencing adverse drug reactions, acute medical symptoms or other problems should contact their primary care provider (PCP) or local emergency room, or call 911.

  • How to throw away home-generated biomedical waste

    Home-generated biomedical waste is any type of syringe, lancet or needle (“sharps”) used in the home to either inject medication or draw blood. Special care must be taken with the disposal of these items to protect you and others from injury, and to keep the environment clean and safe.

    If your therapy involves the use of needles, an appropriately sized sharps container will be provided. Please follow these simple rules to ensure your safety during your therapy:

    Sharps

    After using your injectable medication, place all needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects into a sharps container. Do not dispose of sharps in the trash unless they are contained within a sharps container. Do not flush them down the toilet. If a sharps container is not available, a hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on top or other tightly securable lid (for example, an empty hard can or liquid detergent container) could be used. Before discarding, reinforce the top with heavy-duty tape. Do not use clear plastic or glass containers. Containers should be no more than three-quarters full.

    Disposal

    Check with your local waste collection service or public health department to verify the disposal procedures for sharps containers in your area. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Safe Community Needle Disposal website at www.cdc.gov/needledisposal.

    Needle-stick safety

    • Never replace the cap on needles.
    • Throw away used needles immediately after use in a sharps disposal container.
    • Plan for the safe handling and disposal of needles before using them.
    • Report all needle-stick or sharps-related injuries promptly to your physician.

    If your therapy does not involve the use of needles or sharp items

    You do not need a sharps container. You should place all other used supplies in a bag you can’t see through. Put this bag inside a second bag, and put this in your garbage with your other trash.

  • General home safety

    Falling

    (This is the way people are most often injured in their homes.)

    1. Keep the floor clean. Promptly clean up spills.
    2. If you use throw rugs, place them over a rug liner or choose rugs with non-skid backs to reduce your chance of falling.
    3. Use a non-slip mat or install adhesive strips in your tub or shower.
    4. Tuck away telephone, computer and electrical cords out of walkways.
    5. All stairs and steps need handrails. If you have stairs in your home and have children, use baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
    6. Have all walkways lighted well and use night lights as needed.
    7. Have a flashlight that works.

    Poisoning

    1. Keep all hazardous materials and liquids out of the reach of children.
    2. Keep medications out of the reach of children.
    3. Know your local poison control number or dial 800-222-1222 if a poisoning occurs.
  • Emergency preparedness

    Fire and burn prevention

    1. Have smoke detectors in the home, and replace batteries at least once a year.
    2. Test each smoke detector once a month.
    3. Have a fire plan and be sure all family members know what to do if there’s a fire.
    4. Place covers over electrical outlets.
    5. Check to make sure your water heater is set no higher than 120° F.
    6. Keep children away from the stove and never leave the stove unattended while cooking.
    7. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

    Fire

    1. Rescue anyone from immediate danger.
    2. If you are safe, alert the fire department. Otherwise, evacuate the area.
    3. Turn off oxygen (if applicable), and try to contain the fire by closing off any access, such as doors.
    4. Attempt to extinguish the fire only if it is in a small localized area, otherwise evacuate the building and notify the fire department once you are safe.
    5. If relocation is necessary, please call UK Specialty Pharmacy to alert us to your updated contact information and new medication delivery location to ensure that there is no lapse in therapy.

    Natural disasters (flood, earthquake or tornado)

    1. In disaster-prone areas, store food and extra bottled water. Have a battery-operated radio, flashlights and extra batteries. If you are on a nebulized medication or other medication that requires electricity to administer, please call your local electric company to report your special needs. They may be able to prioritize the restoration of your electricity.
    2. Check for injuries.
    3. Check your home for any gas or water leaks and turn off appropriate valves.
    4. Stay away from windows or broken glass. Wear shoes at all times.
    5. Evacuate the area if necessary.
    6. If evacuation is necessary, go to the nearest shelter and notify the organizers of any special needs you have. Please call UK Specialty Pharmacy to alert us to your updated contact information and new medication delivery location to ensure that there is no lapse in therapy.

    Power outage

    1. Notify your gas and electric companies if there is a loss of power. If you are on a nebulized medication or other medication that requires electricity to administer, please call your local electric company to report your special needs. They may be able to prioritize the restoration of your electricity.
    2. Have a battery-operated radio, flashlights, batteries and/or candles available. (If you are on oxygen, turn it off before lighting candles.)

    Winter storm

    1. Prepare an emergency kit with:
      • Water.
      • Non-perishable food.
      • Battery-operated radio.   
      • Flashlights and fresh batteries.
      • First-aid kit, including prescription medicines.
    2. Keep a full charge in your cell phone.
    3. Do NOT use your stove for heat. If your power goes out, use these items as heat sources:
      • Extra blankets, sleeping bags or warm
      • winter coats, gloves and hats.
      • A wood-burning fireplace. (Be sure to keep a supply of dry firewood.)
    4. Never use a charcoal grill or portable gas camp stove inside your home. Both of these items produce deadly fumes.
    5. Avoid using candles as they can lead to house fires. If you do use candles, never leave them unattended while lit.