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Author Topic: Wristbands for HIV+ Maternity Patients  (Read 1957 times)

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Offline Basquo

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  • Posts: 3,383
Wristbands for HIV+ Maternity Patients
« on: August 01, 2007, 02:15:59 PM »
I have a good rapport with the Nursing Director  for the OB/Gyn floor at my hospital. This lady is very sharp, well-educated and thorough; however, weve been having an email conversation that has me a little on edge. She brought up the subject with me as I am the HIPAA go-to guy for my facility. Here it is so far:

Nursing Director:  We would like to consider putting a color specific arm band on HIV + pts.  Would not have anything written on it.  We thought we should run this thru you first.  Thoughts??

Me: Why in the world would you want to do that?

Me: Hadn't heard back, so let me rephrase the question:  What is the intended goal of identifying HIV + patients this way?

Nursing Director:  Sometimes these pts are sitting on the floor with a high risk condition that can make them bleed profusely requiring emergency intervention and staff have to do things fast-and as you know gloves fly out the window on some of these occasions.  This would be a visual for the staff and a quick identifier without having to find the chart-because in these emergencies-there really is no time to find the chart

Me: Is this only for HIV+ patients who also have the high-risk for bleeding? What about patients who bleed with HCV?  Do they get a color? Or what about profuse bowel problems in patients with C-diff?   I'm concerned about singling out patients with that one condition vs. other infectious conditions.  And a colored wristband is a pretty obvious identifier.  The meaning of the colored arm band will of course be known to people involved in the patient's care, but it would eventually be known to others; EVS (housekeeping) is one that comes to mind, and then visitors.  A visitor could see that band on a patient they don't know, and if they know what it means, then we've revealed PHI of what the Feds and Corporate consider to be a 'sensitive' nature.

The risk of infection from blood-to-skin contact is not significant enough for me to endorse this. I've provided my interpretation of the Privacy aspect.  If you want me to start on stigma, and the patient's point of view, let me know.

Notice how I didnt mention universal precautions.  She herself said in emergencies the gloves might fly out the window, and I understand.

If youd care to comment, Id be happy to pass them along to her.

I guess I just revealed my status to her, huh?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Wristbands for HIV+ Maternity Patients
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 05:28:28 PM »
Basq, what you have also revealed very effectively is that you know your stuff and you laid it out really well and accurately.

You're the man to have on the team!

Big cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Basquo

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  • Posts: 3,383
Re: Wristbands for HIV+ Maternity Patients
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 06:31:29 PM »
Thanks Andy! The issue has been laid to rest!  The director's final response:

Gotcha.  That's why we wanted to run it by you first.  Thanks.

Offline momoftwo

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  • Posts: 78
Re: Wristbands for HIV+ Maternity Patients
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 01:30:34 PM »
Since I am a recent maternity patient I must tell you that at my hospital there was a sign posted on my door about precautionary measures. I did not discover it until two days later when I started walking after my c-section. It did not outright say that I was HIV positive but it did make one wonder what was up with the patient in that room with all the WEAR GLOVES warnings. It prompted my visitors to ask what was up which was an embarrassing situation.
I want to add that whenever I come in contact with a new medical staffer I always tell them I am HIV positive immediately. Surprisingly I had to twice tell the OB nurse to wear gloves when putting my IV in. I think my three wrist bands for allergies was more than enough and thank you for standing up for all the pregnant HIV women out there.
We face enough stigmatism as it is in the maternity ward without a wrist band.


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