Paramedic house calls for nursing home flu patients called 'a godsend’

About a dozen paramedics in Ottawa have begun treating elderly flu patients at the nursing home to prevent trips to the hospital

By EMS1 Staff

OTTAWA, Ontario — A nursing home called paramedics making house calls to treat elderly flu patients a “godsend.”

CBC reported that around a dozen paramedics have been visiting nursing homes since December to treat the patients in their rooms in an effort to prevent a trip to the hospital, as well as the possibility of spreading the flu to the general population.

Robert Wilson, a 25-year veteran paramedic, treats around 15 non-emergent patients at the nursing homes a day, and prevented three hospital trips in one round of treatments.

"Elderly people and fevers are very bad," Wilson said.

Wilson treats each patient for symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea and reminds them to stay hydrated. He also relays the patient’s condition to either the nurses or the patient’s doctor.

The paramedic teams are dispatched at the first sign of a flu outbreak, which nurses are on the constant lookout for, and the nursing homes are very grateful for the program.

"From a timing perspective, [it's] fantastic," nursing home general manager Yasmin Docter-Vachon said. "It's a godsend.”

Wilson said he also enjoys the program.

 "I can come in and interact with people," he said. "The lady I just saw was very happy and wanted me to come back tomorrow."

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