Within all health and social care environment there is constantly a high possibility of an incident occurring, whether it be minor like a patient having a bruise from a fall or from a fire, there are policies and procedures that can reduce the risk but cannot completely eradicate them. Risk assessments are in place and are carried out so that any hazards can be resolved, however some hazards may appear after a risk assessment has been carried out and no one may notice, which puts all staff, service users and visitors at risk. As well as the Health and
Safety Act, RIDDOR ensures that all incidents are recorded. An incident is an occurrence in which no one is to blame however an accident is where the harm done is a result of someone’s carelessness without intent. Examples of clinical incidents and accidents are; slips and trips on any spillages, abuse of any kind, exposure to infection, fires, aggressive service users/visitors and intruders. Within all procedures to be taken in the event of an incident/accident there will be priorities that are steps to be taken prior to any others. For example ensuring patients’ safety would be the top priority and retrieving any personal belongings from a building that is suspected to be on fire would be the least important. Responses to an incident is the action taken which in turn allows for the hierarchy of priorities. Examples of responses would be to check that any of the nearby fire alarms have not been smashed, reporting the incident and ovin patients to a safer area. During my placement in North Durham hospital there were two main incidents, one fire and one infectious outbreak. After these two incidents, I carried out reports to summarise what happened.
Norovirus Infectious Outbreak:
Location of Incident:
University Hospital of North Durham, Floor 2, Ward 11, Room 6.
Date and Time of Incident:
Friday 26th September, 2014
First symptoms started at around 11:30am
Description of Incident:
One patient had been complaining of stomach cramps and had a headache that wouldn’t subside. Then two more patients complained of the same symptoms. Following this at around 13:32 all three of the patients became severely dehydrated from violent vomiting and also had fevers of about 39/39.5°C. At 2:40 the doctor was called and a diagnosis of the norovirus was made. As the virus is highly contagious there were procedures that had to be put in place to minimize the amount of cases.
Priorities/Responses: Prioritised top to bottom)
● The first response would be to quarantine any of the patients that do have the infection, no visitors will be permitted to enter the ward. Any patients that don’t have the infection must be moved to the opposite side of the ward.
● If the patients have any other medical condition, they must also be cared for but in a sanitary way to ensure that the condition of the patients are not worsened.
● If there are any staff that may need to enter the isolated area they must wear gloves, plastic disposable aprons and must sanitise their hands before and after every patient contact.
● As well as this ensuring that the ward is remained clean. Any clinical waste must be properly disposed of, as well as disposing of used sick bowls correctly to reduce the possibility of infection being passed on.
● Patients’ conditions must be monitored at regular intervals to ensure that their health does not deteriorate more than it has. If any new symptoms occur this could mean that there is the possibility of another virus being present.
Health, Safety and Security concerns caused by Incident:
First health concern is that infection can be easily spread. What makes this virus difficult to contain is how it is contracted, it can be contracted by bodily fluids and through the air. This can become a big problem within hospitals as there are a larger percentage of people within the