Flu season has arrived and Southcoast™ Health System would like advise the public on when to seek treatment for flu like symptoms.
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral medications. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician's assistant, etc.).
Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions). If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it's best for you to contact your doctor. Remind them about your high risk status for flu.
Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and possible treatment are needed. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.
Emergency Room care
The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.
When to seek emergency care
Emergency warning signs in children:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing.
- Bluish skin color.
- Not drinking enough fluids.
- Not waking up or not interacting.
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
- Fever with a rash.
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
- Being unable to eat.
- Has trouble breathing.
- Has no tears when crying.
- Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.
Emergency warning signs in adults:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
- Sudden dizziness.
- Severe or persistent vomiting.
- Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
Click below to learn more.
Southcoast receives prestigious recognition for cancer care
Southcoast™ Hospitals Group has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), for its system-wide oncology program. The QOPI® Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.
"We're extremely proud to receive this certification from ASCO and QOPI which underscores our commitment to the community, and especially to our oncology patients, to provide the highest quality oncology service here at Southcoast," said Eileen Sugrue-McElearney, Vice President for Oncology Services at Southcoast Health System.
"Cancer patients and their families should expect nothing less than accountability and the highest standards from their cancer care providers," said Allen S. Lichter, MD, CEO of ASCO and President of the QOPI Certification Program. "QOPI participation reflects a commitment to quality of care that leads to fundamental changes in the clinical practice of oncology. Oncology practices that commit to quality and safety are those that provide the most optimal cancer care. The Certification Program helps practices determine whether they are providing the best treatment and care possible to their patients, and demonstrates a commitment to excellence and ongoing quality improvement in the hematology-oncology outpatient practice."
QOPI is a voluntary, self-assessment and improvement program launched by ASCO in 2006 to help hematology-oncology and medical oncology practices assess the quality of the care they provide to patients. Through the QOPI program, practices abstract data from patients' records up to twice per year and enter this information into a secure database. More than 700 oncology practices have registered in the QOPI program.