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INSIDE STORY... INFECTION CONTROL

by

Neil Foley




BRYCE ALLARDYCE

Good evening, I'm Bryce Allardyce and this is 'Inside Story'
Tonight - 'Infection Control' What is it? Where is it? - And, most importantly, how does it affect you?
A recently published Government report outlines measures that need to be implemented to safeguard against the potential dangers of the HUMAN INFLUENZA PANDEMIC...what's that you ask?.. .Good question...
A pandemic occurs when a new viral strain appears to which there is little or no immunity in the population. It is therefore readily transferred between humans, producing infection in a high proportion of people exposed...
Whilst we cannot predict when the next Pandemic will occur, nor how long it will last, there is growing concern that the Avian Flu Virus, known as bird flu or H5N1, may soon mutate triggering a Human Influenza Pandemic...
Should we panic? - Well off course not - Should we plan ahead? - YES absolutely - Effective planning is our greatest ally!
Whilst Pandemics are unpredictable, making it very difficult to know their individual characteristics, what we do know is this - Rates of serious illness, hospitalisation and death will depend not only on the virulence of the Pandemic virus but also on our ability to minimise its spread and to treat those effected...
Which leads us back to those simple words – “Infection Control” — As we speak Government agencies and big business alike are drafting policy to combat the potential of an infection outbreak, but what of the community? How will it affect John and Jill Average? What safeguards are being put into place to keep us, the community, safe?

Tonight we begin a series of special reports where we ask the big question – Infection Control. Are we safe? Genevieve Branson reports…

GENEVIEVE

Thanks Bryce. Yes Infection Control is indeed serious business and while it is comforting to know that very visible entities such as Government and big business are implementing effective infection control policies, it makes one wonder about the less visible entities - entities such as this one -Baldock Avenue residential facility in Willow Park. Like hundreds of similar facilities across the country Baldock Avenue is entrusted to support five people with disabilities, it's a small place Bryce - a place that could easily slip through the net of effective infection control, and that's why we're here, to see for ourselves if the message of effective infection control is filtering down the line, to go 'Inside' to get the story – the “Inside Story”


I'm about to knock on this door to see if we can go inside to measure the "quality" of Infection Control provided by the staff of this facility.
Now on my palm a red dot — let's call it virus A, I have also provided symbolic viruses for members of the crew here...

...for the sake of the exercise we will call these potential virus's, Virus B and C and we will pay particular attention to their spread should we gain access to the house. I have also prepared some other tests, that we will reveal if, or rather when, we get inside...


Okay, let's see how we go...
MALE WORKER

...Oh...Hi... can I help you?




GENEVIEVE

My name is Genevieve Branson, We’re from 'Inside Story', we're doing a special report on infection control in the community and I was wondering if we could come inside to see what "measures", if any, are being taken to safeguard against a potential infection outbreak...

MALE WORKER

...well...umm...I can't actually authorise entry inside the house without permission from the manager and she's not actually here right now...

MALE WORKER

...but I guess I could give her a call if you like...


GENEVIEVE

If it's not too much trouble...


MALE WORKER

Okay, just give me a moment...


GENEVIEVE

So there you have it, before we even enter we can see potential danger number one — this place is like a rudderless ship, leading its passengers into the potential stormy waters of the contamination sea... Effective management is absolutely crucial when it comes to infection control but how can you have effective management when chronic absenteeism...


MALE WORKER

Okay I've spoken to Jan and checked with Reg, the resident here at the moment, and that’s fine if you come inside, but as this is a home, I would kindly ask you to respect it as you would your own...


GENEVIEVE

Wouldn’t dream of anything else…


As I said before, in case you don't know me from the television, my name is Genevieve Branson...
MALE WORKER

Oh...G'day Jennyviv, my name's Terry Harley, Sorry I don't really watch a great deal of telly. . .don't really get the time and when I do I can't get near it, what with kids and all.


GENEVIEVE

Terry let me introduce you to our production assistant, this is Clem Harvey.


And our sound recordist, Mike Judd.
Oh don’t worry about our camera operator, she’s busy, not important…
Okay Terry, before I ask you to show us around the facility can I begin by asking you a very serious question...
...Where is the manager Terry? And how can you run a facility...
TERRY

Ah. . .I'm sorry to interrupt you there Jenny but we don't use that word 'facility' when we're referring to Baldock Street — we like to use the word house — that’s what it is Jenny.. .a house...

GENEVIEVE

Right Okay.. .I'd like to know how can you run a HOUSE such as this without effective, and constantly present management?

TERRY

Yeah no worries at all Jenny, our manager Jan is not here today as she is in the early stages of a viral infection and as such is classified as being infectious. Now we have very clear policy surrounding workers who are infectious and it states that until such time that the infection passes, they are to remain absent from work, so as not to pass on the infection to residents or fellow workers.


GENEVIEVE

I see...
TERRY

As far as effective management, I agree that it is a vital ingredient in the running of a house such as this and I believe that as evidence of the effectiveness of the management you need to look no further than all our staff member are fully at speed with all policies outlined in our policy guidelines - I truly do believe Jenny that Jan runs a really great facility here at Baldock Avenue.
Okay if you'd like to follow me I have duties that I need to attend to and I'll show you around as I work. I'm working here on my own at the moment as my co-worker Michelle has taken Stephanie, one of our residents, on an outing to the beach - they should be back any minute now...
Reg Harrier, I'd like you to meet Jenny Benson, she's from the 'Inside Show' - on the telly.
GENEVIEVE

Ah... it's Genevieve Branson actually, from 'Inside Story' Channel Eight?


REG

Sorry love, don't watch the box... but it's nice to meet ya' anyways, welcome to Baldock Avenue...


Sorry darlin', can't shake your hand but I can give ya' a wink, just washed me hands see.


TERRY

And Reg this is...


GENEVIEVE

...Let's not bother with all that Terry... Okay then, so what's going on here?

TERRY

Right, well I'm just about to start giving Reg a hand in preparing tonight's dinner... what are we having Reg?

REG

Lamb casserole Tezza.


TERRY

Oooh, not bad hey? Okay first things first - In this house we have a very strict policy about washing our hands and preparing our food preparation area before we start cooking don't we mate?


REG

Sure do Tez.


TERRY

Okay the first thing is to clean any surfaces that may come into contact with the food, the surfaces might look clean but they may have been touched by dirty hands or indeed have become contaminated by airborne viruses or bacteria...


Now we use a mixture of detergent and water to clean our surfaces. Then when this is done we dispose of the wipe and the gloves into a lidded foot pedal bin that has been lined with the appropriate plastic bin liner.
Then it's time to wash our hands.
GENEVIEVE

You're being very thorough Terry, is that really necessary?


TERRY

You betcha Jenny, I've been pottering around the house all afternoon. Who knows what trash these hands may come across


I think people really underestimate the importance of washing hands and even those that do often carry out the procedure incorrectly - and that's the key to it Jenny... procedure!

Let me step you through it. First of all you need to remove any rings or jewellery that you might have...


...then a pump or two from the soap from the dispenser.. .and it's on with the hot running water...
That's strange... not much pressure…
... ah here she comes...
GENEVIEVE

So you have running water then Terry?


TERRY

Well of course we do Jenny, Why wouldn't we?


GENEVIEVE

Oh no reason...

TERRY

Okay, so with the water constantly running we need to thoroughly rub your hands together, washing the backs, the wrists, between the fingers and underneath the fingernails. To wash your hands thoroughly it really should take about twenty seconds.

Then with the water still running you need to rinse your hands, turn off the tap, and dry our hands using a single use towel.
Oh that'd be Michelle and Stephanie... I’ll just let them know what's going on.. .whilst I'm gone if you wouldn’t mind washing your hands that'd be great...
GENEVIEVE

I'm standing here in the bathroom of Baldock Avenue with Michelle and Stephanie.


Now Michelle can you explain what has happened here?
MICHELLE

Well, Stephanie has come in to use the bathroom and upon entering she discovered a pool of a thick, unidentified liquid on the bathroom floor.


STEPHANIE

I don't know what it is...or where it has come from... it must have leaked from the ceiling or something? Maybe it was the dog?


GENEVIEVE

You have a dog?


STEPHANIE

No
Woof woof!


GENEVIEVE

And what do you make of it Michelle?


MICHELLE

Um actually, I don’t know what to make of it... it has the same consistency as blood but it’s not the right colour, and nobody seems to be bleeding so it's a bit of a mystery actually...


But, regardless of what it is I'm going to have to treat it in the same way I would a body fluid spill... or any other liquid contaminant spill for that matter.
GENEVIEVE

Are you familiar with the procedure around body fluid spills Michelle?


MICHELLE

Yes I certainly am Genevieve...would you like to see it?


GENEVIEVE

That'd be great, thanks.
MICHELLE

Okay, well due to the size of this spill I’m going to use absorbent granules to soak up the liquid.

You will notice that as well as wearing gloves, which are classified as standard personal protective equipment, or PPE, and are worn at all times when dealing with body fluid spills, I am also wearing additional personal protective equipment, or PPE, in the form of protective apron, protective sleeves and protective shoe covers. I do this as there is some risk that the contaminant may come into contact with my regular clothing. Additional precautions are required when standard precautions alone might not be enough to contain the transmission of infection...

Okay well once the spill has been absorbed by the granules I then scrape up the refuse and put in a scraper and dispose of it into a plastic bag.
GENEVIEVE

I see you have a good supply of fresh water here at Baldock Avenue Michelle?


MICHELLE

yeah I suppose we do... there's a reservoir near by...


Okay then once the floor has been mopped it's time to dispose of the various PPE and absorbent granules. I should also say that it is extremely important to dispose of PPE after one use only and that PPE is for one person use only — PPE should never be shared...
Okay now it's time to dispose of this in the bin...
That's strange... no bin liner? We’ll have to take it outside then.

GENEVIEVE

So Michelle, if the contaminants are already in a plastic bag, surely you can just dispose of it without using a plastic bin liner?

MICHELLE


No. That's not an option at all. I really can’t stress enough how important it is for the inside bins are lined with plastic bin liners, if infectious materials were to contaminate clean surfaces, who knows what sort of problems we might have on our hands?— the last thing we need is outbreak! — Okay now that I have disposed of it properly, it's time to wash my hands again...
GENEVIEVE

Isn’t she diligent…

I’ll go and wash my hands too then.
MICHELLE

Okay, well the washing of hands really is a process... Many people fail to acknowledge the relationship between the incorrect washing of hands and the spread of viral infection.. I think...


GENEVIEVE

Okay thanks Michelle, we might take it back to the kitch...


MICHELLE

Hmmm... that's odd...




GENEVIEVE

Well.. .fancy that...


MICHELLE

Yeah... fancy that... taps not working

Not to worry... the "solution" is just at hand…

This antibacterial hand gel is just the thing for occasions such as these

or when we are outside of the house and we have no access to water. You simply put some on your hands, rub it into the palms of your hands, over the backs, your fingers, on your wrists - voila clean hands!

GENEVIEVE

Back to you Bryce...


BRYCE ALLARDYCE

... So... umm... ah... there you have it... Certainly food for thought there... yes on the surface it appears that the staff have the situation under control at Bauldock Ave but what lurks beneath the surface? It certainly does leave you wondering... really wondering


Join us next week as we take you inside to get the story... the "Inside Story".





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