Mask mania

 - 
05/05/2009

Tightrope release Flight of the Phoenix move There has been a lot made of the brisk sales of masks that HME providers are experiencing as a result of the swine flu epidemic. We had a story in our NewsWire this week, and the Quad City Times, among others, had a story last week.

While it's important that providers take their mask inventory seriously, especially in times like these, AAHomecare may have hit the bigger nail on the head with a survey

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it conducted last week of about 1,500 HME providers. The association asked whether providers have formal plans in place to respond to a pandemic flu. Fifty-three percent said they did and another 18 percent said they're working on it.

It's important, as this survey points out, that HME providers are perceived to be more than equipment jockeys. In a time of emergency, providers are not only a place to find necessary equipment like masks, they're also one of the groups on the front lines should an epidemic like the swine flu worsen.

In a release AAHomecare President Tyler Wilson stated: "Our members have experience responding to weather-related emergencies and power outages, which present risks to patients who require oxygen through devices that require electricity. A pandemic flu presents a different set of challenges, but the home medical sector has prepared for them."

Liz Beaulieu