Currently we hear a lot about Ebola and the possibility of it becoming a pandemic. Today we are used to the idea that most diseases can quickly be cured by antibiotics. Well, my mother was an infectious disease nurse in England prior to World War 2. This was a time with no antibiotics and many diseases that we do not even think about any more killed large numbers of people. If a disease like Ebola were to become pandemic we would have to return to these old fashioned methods.
She says that they had patients with scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, typhus, smallpox, polio and tuberculosis all sharing the same wards. But by strict controls and lots of disinfectant, they did not have any cases of cross infections.
I have been looking at her old medical books and found a section on nursing infectious diseases at home that I think might be applicable in a pandemic in which medical care was nonexistent or limited.
The following is the section on nursing at home. Just to help you out carbolic or carbolic acid is now known as phenol. Permanganate of potash is now known as potassium permanganate. Formalin disinfectant is formaldehyde. Chloride of lime is calcium hypochlorite.
This second section shows how to handle lavatory waste.
This third section shows how to fumigate a patient’s room. You will notice that it lists seven methods but I only show three, the other four require special equipment that would not be available to us.
In addition to this, I strongly suggest that you should have the food, water and other necessities so that you could remain in your homes for up to three months if needed.
Things to stock up on are
- Surgical masks
- Hospital gowns
- Extra sheets and bedding
- A bedpan
- Goggles or eye shields
- Tyvek suits
- Shoe covers
Treatment just comes down to keeping the patient comfortable and hydrated and pray for them to get better.