March 13, 2020 | by Craig Carson, Chief Medical Officer at PURE Infusion Suites
Our hearts and thoughts go out to all the individuals and families across the globe who have been affected, both directly and indirectly, by COVID-19. We appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and the governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus.
With You in Mind
We recognize that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has required all of us to be more mindful as we go through our regular daily activities (which includes infusion and injection therapies). At PURE, our core value-system centers around us being patient-centric in every PURE endeavor. Thus, with the best interest of the patient in mind, we want to address the needs of all those who are in need of ongoing infusion and injection therapies during this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as we strive to help protect our patients and team members. We are committed to taking appropriate actions and providing reliable information to our patients and our healthcare providers as it comes available.
No Preventative Measure Left Undone
Ahead of any of your visits to a PURE location, you can have confidence that PURE is taking every recommended measure to continue providing you with unparalleled care during this challenging time. From handwashing hygiene to the cleaning product specifications for our custom infusion and injection suites, every safety measure is being taken with you in mind. In short, while thanking all of you who continually put your trust in our dedicated medical staff, we want to unequivocally communicate to you that every precaution and health measure is being taken by PURE to ensure that your infusion and injected therapies are not disrupted by the COVID-19 virus.
What We Know
With the latest announcements from the President of the United States and the ongoing updates from the CDC and WHO concerning the spread of COVID-19, everywhere we look, someone is talking about COVID-19. However, despite all of the constant COVID-19 dialogue, there has been very limited input into how this will impact those like you who are receiving complex therapies for various types of chronic health conditions. As such, PURE is committed to providing patients with up-to-date guidance from the best available resources across the globe. As new information becomes available, PURE will continue to provide clarity, policy, and routine updates to ensure every patient feels confident and safe as they enter our facilities for treatment.
What if I’m receiving immune suppressing medications?
Patients whose primary form of therapy is an infused biologic are generally at a higher risk for many types of infections including viruses (this would presumably hold true as well for COVID-19, although it is not certain at this time). Healthcare specialists who treat these conditions continue to make judgments about the value of treatment and good disease control relative to the risks of biologic therapy. While the immediate risk of COVID-19 is low, your healthcare provider will be able to give your further guidance on the value of your treatment in the current conditions and what other options might be available to you to further limit possible infection. At PURE, along with what the CDC recommended (see CDC guidelines HERE), we recommend that our patients follow the below practical guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If water and soap are not available, you can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces within their place of residence
Beyond simply monitoring the situation, PURE is taking active measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These additional measures include:
- Limiting family or friends who might visit during an infusion
- Added protective equipment for staff and clinicians
These above measures, along with other PURE policy updates commensurate with the evolving global knowledge of COVID-19, PURE will continue to provide a safe, comfortable, and welcoming place for patients to receive their treatments.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Most people with the virus will only develop mild symptoms. Those with underlying medical conditions and the elderly are at greater risk for more severe symptoms. Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Respiratory symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties.
If you are experience any of the above symptoms in a severe manner, please call your state or local health departments for testing (ensuring to call ahead of any trip to the emergency room to let them know you are coming). If you are experiencing any mild flu-like symptoms, please call PURE ahead of coming to your scheduled appointment.
Understanding and Background of COVID-19
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in late 2019 in Asia and has spread to more than 100 countries at the time of this writing – the United States being one of the more recent countries to contract it. As with the common cold or seasonal flu, COVID-19 is transmitted through touch – this includes touching exposed surfaces or objects with the virus and then touching one’s eyes, or mouth, or the inhalation of airborne water droplets from a carrier of COVID-19.
PURE reduces your risk of contracting illnesses and viruses like COVID-19
From its inception, PURE has aligned itself with the industries best practices for providing immunocompromised patients with the most safe, comfortable, and healing environments (if you didn’t already know, some of our team members actually wrote the industry best practices for those receiving biologic medications in ambulatory infusion centers – praise goes to Josh Smith at PURE and the entirety of the NICA Board Members and Advisory Committee). If you’re receiving infusion treatments today and are concerned about the environment you are receiving them in, here’s how PURE can help:
- Our facilities are in easy to reach retail spaces, not shared healthcare facilities like hospitals. Only patients who are receiving infusion treatments access our facility; therefore, we maintain a steady, aseptic environment for patients to avoid the spread of illnesses like COVID-19
- Because each of our locations are outfitted with beautiful, enclosed, private suites, aligned with current CDC space guidelines for COVID-19, you will have minimal contact with others from the moment you arrive
- In addition to helping you save money and bringing you a diet coke during your infusion treatment, our entire clinical teams work tirelessly prior to your arrival to ensure everything within our suites are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected (e.g., blankets, remotes, etc.)
At every PURE location, our patients are our number one priority. Period. We will continue to remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring that we do not disrupt your continuity of care. Because of our patient-centric culture (from our buildings to patient treatment), we strongly believe that PURE is the absolute safe place for infusions and injections. Come see us with supreme confidence. Rest assured, your continued confidence in PURE is well placed.
Dr. Craig Carson
Chief Medical Officer, PURE Infusion Suites