Home Health Infusion Nurse Refuses Vaccination Against COVID What Should I do?
August 7, 2021 at 6:16 pm
Hello, and a bit of insight is required from my fellow GBS/CIDP sufferers, please.
I am lucky enough to receive home infusion therapy. I will not mention the area of the country or any names, to avoid making this too personal or to “point fingers” at my home infusion nurse.
My RN (with whom I have a good working relationship, and she seems competent other than failing to follow (accidentally, I hope!) my doctor’s orders about my indwelling port…but otherwise, she is relatively easy to get along with, and she seems “with it”.
Problem? She works several days (just shy of full-time) at an ICU and is in direct contact (hopefully she is using proper PPE and medical hygiene) with very sick COVID-19 and variant patients.
Often, she will work her shift at the hospital, then sleep at her home for a few hours and then come to my home for my IVIG infusions. It takes many hours for my infusions, across several days (due to the very high dose I have to take via my port), and I am very worried that she will come here having been exposed to highly contagious patients.
In the state where I live, nearly 95% of all ICU patients have not been vaccinated for COVID, and this goes beyond the RN choosing for herself whether she wants to become vaccinated or not…but the infusion nursing company she works through has a “voluntary vaccination” policy, so nobody is out there saying “You are working with high risk patients and you need to be vaccinated against COVID to prevent cross-infection from your ICU job, and in light of the fact you are working with other high risk home infusion patients who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
I have been vaccinated, however, my neutrophils and WBC’s are all well below the lowest lab levels for “normal”, due to the IVIG suppressing my immune system…so I have no idea whether I have any actual immunity from the vaccinations or not…or whether the vaccinations, whatever level of immunity was imparted to me, is now fading quickly and I am still at high risk…even higher with my R.N.’s refusal to obtain the readily-available COVID vaccinations.
So my question is this:
“Given that I am likely still very highly susceptible to COVID and it’s variants (Delta is a huge problem in this area), should I seek a different home health R.N. for my infusions?”
My feelings aren’t hurt easily, so please speak your mind(s) and let me know any scientific reasoning behind your recommendation (Should the R.N. stay, or should she be replaced, given that she is playing “fast and loose” with the lives of the high risk patients she treats?)
I should mention that I wear a very expensive mask every time I am infused, but the R.N. wears nothing more than a loose-fitting surgical mask, which often falls below the level of her nostrils, so I am being further exposed (if she is COVID-positive). I do not wear goggles or glasses, so there is a ready entry point through the mucosa of my eyes, and of course, she is touching my port, my IVIG IV spike, etc.. frequently, though she does wear gloves most times she handles the port infusion devices, although she is still at very high risk of transmitting anything she has obtained at the hospital and those COVID patients directly to me.
Please let me know your thoughts. I am quite concerned about potentially becoming infected through the home infusion R.N. given her extensive exposure to COVID-positive ICU patients, and then coming to my home and potentially infecting contact surfaces and infecting me through airborne vectors.
Thank you all!
August 8, 2021 at 3:02 pm
There are many, many qualified home infusion services that have strict Covid rules for their employees so as to not jeopardize their client’s health. I would find a new service. You should be able to locate reputable infusion services in your area here:
Another list is here:
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