On the heels of the 2014 hurricane season, researchers are calling for home parenteral and enteral nutrition (HPEN) consumers and their homecare providers to have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan (EPP) to ensure that special needs are met during the time of a disaster.
In a paper published today in the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition's (A.S.P.E.N.) Nutrition in Clinical Practice journal, researchers with Coram Specialty Infusion Services outline the experiences of HPEN consumers and homecare providers in New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and use that information to present recommendations for EPPs.
Among the key recommendations for consumers is to contact their utility company prior to any disaster to ensure they are properly identified as power-dependent customers, and to have an HPEN emergency kit as well as a basic emergency kit. They also advocate for consumers to have an emergency contact list that includes names and contact information for designated family and friends, physicians, and pharmacy and homecare providers.
The researchers recommend that the homecare providers' EPPs be focused on ensuring safety of consumers and employees, minimizing any interruption of services, and preparing contingency plans or designating back-up providers.
The researchers also recommend that providers develop an EPP manual for their HPEN consumers and that they provide their consumers with supplies to have on hand in case they require an alternate method or type of feeding.
To help HPEN consumers and homecare providers develop EPPs, the researchers cite The Oley Foundation as a helpful resource. Its website is http://www.oley.org.
Nutrition in Clinical Practice (NCP) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that publishes articles about the scientific basis and clinical application of nutrition and nutrition support. NCP contains comprehensive reviews, clinical research, case observations, and other types of papers written by experts in the field of nutrition and healthcare practitioners involved in the delivery of specialized nutrition support. NCP is an official journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). This journal is also a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit http://www.nutritioncare.org.
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