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H1n1 Influenza

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

H1n1 Influenza (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

H1N1 influenza (swine flu) is an infection caused by a virus. It is easily spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or has close contact with others. You may be able to spread H1N1 influenza to others for 1 week or longer after signs or symptoms appear.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

H1N1 influenza can cause serious or life-threatening health problems in some people. If left untreated, H1N1 influenza can lead to dehydration. Being dehydrated can hurt your kidneys, heart, and brain. Asthma, lung disease, and heart disease may get worse when you have H1N1 influenza. H1N1 influenza can lead to ear, throat, and sinus infections. If you have a high fever, you may begin to have seizures. You may get lung infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis. You may get an infection in your blood, heart, or brain.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Isolation:

You will need to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of H1N1 influenza to other people. People near you should wear a mask, and they may also wear gloves, goggles, and a gown. People who enter your room should wash their hands before they leave.

Medicines:

  • Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain and fever.

  • NSAIDs: These medicines decrease pain and fever.

  • Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators may be given to help open your airways so you can breathe more easily.

  • Antivirals: This is given to fight an infection caused by a virus.

Treatments:

  • Oxygen: You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your caregiver before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.

  • Suction: Caregivers may need to use this to help you breathe more easily. A small tube is placed in your mouth or nose. Suction from the tube removes mucus.

  • Nebulizer treatments: You are given medicine in the form of a mist, which is easy to breathe in. Nebulizer treatments are given through a mouthpiece or mask that is attached to the nebulizer machine.

  • A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator. You may need a trach if an ET tube cannot be placed. A trach is a tube put through an incision and into your windpipe.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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