Covid Messages from Russell

COVID Messages from Russell – 20 August

August 20, 2020

It is encouraging to see that the Victorian case numbers are consistently at lower levels than we had seen in recent times and that at Western Health, we are seeing some of the flow on effects of that, with a reduction in the number of both COVID-19 positive and suspected patients in our care.

Please don’t let your guard down

I would like to highlight that this can be a time when we become more relaxed about the measures we need to take to protect ourselves and our colleagues. If we let our guard down, this virus will take advantage of that and your safety must come first, so please remain highly vigilant.

There is very little flu circulating in the community at this time, so Dr Marion Kainer advises that if you have even the mildest symptoms, get tested and get tested immediately – preferably at our own services i.e. Sunshine Hospital clinic or Sunbury if you live that way, as we are able to obtain results most rapidly from those clinics.

Thanking our partners

I would like to give a shout out today to the Dorevitch Pathology teams who have been working tirelessly to support us throughout the pandemic. They play a critical role and I know that their staff are also working very long hours and doing everything they can to respond to the needs of Western Health, our staff,patients and community.

Acknowledging our research managers

Another group of staff who we might tend to overlook in a time when most of the focus is on clinical work – are our research management teams, headed by Bill Karanatsios. Since the pandemic began,  they have been putting in many, many hours supporting a multitude of COVID related trials and research proposals. Every one of these requires an extraordinary amount of detail and each one helps bring us closer to the overall push for better treatments and improved ways of caring for COVID patients.

One of our ICU research nurses, Miriam Towns, was interviewed by Nine News this morning about a new convalescent plasma trial – supported by those who have recovered from COVID-19. Footscray Hospital was the first centre in Australia to recruit patients for this trial, being run by Monash University. See the story on the 6pm Ch 9 news tonight.

PPE! Stick with us here…

I know that you are probably sick of seeing, hearing and reading about PPE – these three letters carry importance all the time in health care but now much, oh so much, more importance during this pandemic! Later today we will have (I know I am sorry but this is a fast moving area) another release of information on PPE, in the daily New on the Site summary.  Whilst you may be fed up with changes there are always good reasons why we provide new updates and today is no different – so please trust us and bear with us.

Like all health services, Western Health is receiving a variety of brands of P2/N95 respirators (masks) from the state supply centre and it is not possible to use only one type of mask. It is imperative that staff who are required to wear a P2/N95 mask as per the Western Health guidelines, allow enough time to complete a correct ‘fit-check’ when donning their masks.  Some are a little tricker than others! This is especially important if you are using an unfamiliar brand, as the dimensions and features may result in a different fit and feel. Having a properly-fitting mask is a crucial step in keeping yourself safe.

Please continue to visit the PPE page on the coronavirus microsite for educational resources, including videos and posters, to help staff perform regular fit-checking of their P2/N95 masks.

Take care and stay safe