“Based on the data collected from public health officials in Australia, healthcare providers should prepare for what could be a difficult flu season in the U.S.,” said James Donegan, a respiratory therapist and Medline clinical resource manager. He said the situation may evolve into a “twindemic”—high flu rates exacerbated by or in tandem with rising COVID-19 cases — as Americans continue to return to work, school and travel without masks.
Ensuring optimal care for respiratory patients
To prepare for a possible influx of respiratory illness, healthcare providers should encourage COVID-19 and flu vaccinations while also ensuring an adequate inventory of products required to effectively treat “patients in respiratory distress,” said Donegan. These include oxygen delivery, medication delivery, ventilation products and pulse oximeters.
“These are all critical in the care and treatment of patients with pulmonary complications caused by the flu and COVID-19,” said Donegan.