I added that pretty picture of the flu virus to get your attention!
I wanted to talk about the importance of getting your flu shot, and how it is actually a very selfless act.
I am a medical technologist at an urgent care. We are a step down from an emergency room. What’s interesting about being a lab tech in an urgent care is that you get to actually get to see and/or interact with our patients.
Positive Flu A, Flu B, and RSVs are considered a critical value in my urgent care (I don’t know if that is the case elsewhere). I know how dangerous they can be, but I never really put much thought into it until yesterday.
Yesterday, I was asked to run tests for a two year old baby boy for flu a, flu b, rsv, and strep a. He came out positive for flu b and strep a. As procedure, not only do I have to report it to our system, but I have to personally tell the doctor verbally that the patient is positive. As I am walking towards the nurses station to find the doctor, I quickly get a glimpse of the boy in room nine and he looks miserable. I tell myself “poor baby!” As I can feel his pain by looking at him. I tell the doctor and he confirms with me and I go back to my lab so I can continue to the next patient.
As I am documenting the exchange of results with the doctor on my systems, a nurse runs to my window, stressed out, throws the specimen she had, and runs back. I walk outside to see what’s going on and that same boy now has a suctioning tube down his throat, mom in tears, and the entire staff around his bed trying to get him to breathe again. I feel myself kind of losing my cool and the tears coming so I run back to the lab to shake it off and I go back outside to see if I can help in any way. The only help I could offer was to remind them he has flu b and strep a because with all the stress, documentation was a bit hard.
Paramedics finally come in to transport him to the nearest ER, but we couldn’t let the patient go until he was stable. It took 15 mins to stabilize him and clear out his airway from a lot of fluid that got loose from a cough attack he had prior to the incident. His O2 sat was dangerously low and our staff were unable to get a line in him, but once his airway was cleared the paramedics were able to do that on their way.Edit:
There are three age groups who are at very high risk with the flu.
1) infants, babies, and small children
2) elderly 3) immunocompromised/immunodeficient patients.
Those are two very good reasons to get the flu shot.
It’s so easy to get one and is covered by almost every insurance.
You will literally be saving lives and that would be a very good deed to end 2016 with.