MARCH 20, 2020
Dr. Leonard Valentino, CEO of the National Hemophilia Federation, will be sharing a weekly update for the bleeding disorders community regarding staying healthy and safe through COVID-19. Read Dr. Valentino's March 20 article
MARCH 16, 2020
NOTE: This letter will be mailed to patient homes.
Dear IHTC Family,
The coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic is upon us. COVID 19 can cause a range of symptoms; some people may have no symptoms yet be infected and spread the virus to others, while some people may develop severe breathing difficulty requiring hospitalization and intensive care. Younger people who are infected tend to do better with this infection than older individuals (greater than 60 years old) or people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung problems, compromised immune function or other conditions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a website that they keep updated for information related to this virus and current recommendations to avoid getting sick. If you are able, please view the website at coronavirus.gov. This website has information about travel, “social distancing”, public gatherings and personal safety. As well, we will continue to post updates on our website at www.ihtc.org so please check it regularly if you are able.
We at the IHTC want to assure that your care continues and that we remain well so that we are able to provide care. We also as a health care program want to support all efforts to limit COVID 19 spread. If we do not all as individuals make efforts to limit the spread of COVID 19, then health care resources will be stretched to the breaking point. We want to make all efforts to avoid this situation.
Therefore, we are instituting a variety of new efforts at the IHTC for patient and staff safety.
- We are reviewing all scheduled appointments over the coming weeks and cancelling routine appointments at this time. We will offer you the option to have a visit with a care provider via telephone or telehealth.
- We are screening all patients who come for appointments that cannot be delayed to determine their risk of having the infection. Patients who present to our office with a fever and cough will be directed by a medical provider for appropriate care.
- Outreach clinics will be rescheduled until a time when the CDC determines that the risk of community spread has passed.
- We have instructed our outreach team to reschedule routine home visits and appointments and to offer these by telephone or telehealth. The outreach team will screen people who may need immediate assistance for the same symptoms that our office is using and direct people who may be at higher risk of infection to an appropriate facility.
- Care providers may be wearing masks to prevent spread when people are seen in person.
- You need to have an adequate supply of medication for your medical condition in case you require quarantine at home. If you need to discuss this with the IHTC care team, please call. Please be patient if phone lines are busy as we anticipate an increased volume of calls.
- If you have an upcoming procedure scheduled, please contact the care provider as most elective surgeries are being cancelled. The IHTC recommends that elective surgeries be cancelled as having these may increase your risk of exposure.
- If you need to go to a local emergency room, please call us first so that we can alert the emergency room of your visit and medical condition.
Amy D. Shapiro, MD
Anne Greist, MD
March 12, 2020
Our patients’ and staff members’ health and safety remain top priority to IHTC as the Center’s leadership continues to pay close attention to the news about the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On March 5, IHTC sent a notice electronically via social media and posted to ihtc.org/coronavirus 2019 about the steps we are taking to help reduce the spread of respiratory illness at our Center. This same letter was printed and mailed to patient homes. Read the letter here >
The steps and recommendations outlined in the communication are still current. Our staff remain diligent in screening all patients for symptoms upon arrival, as well as in maintaining cleanliness throughout our facility. Staff are also following CDC guidelines related to travel and are not to report to work if they are sick.
It is important that patients and families also act to help prevent the spread of this virus per the CDC, including observing CDC travel advisories.
For more specifics on COVID-19 in the state of Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health provides regular updates here.
March 5, 2020
A new virus known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified. This is a respiratory virus that affects your breathing and lungs. As we learn more about this virus, the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center (IHTC) is working to make sure we will be able to provide ongoing care and support to our patients.
At this time, IHTC does not expect disruptions in our medical care. We do not expect that patients will have problems getting clinic appointments or getting supplies from the IHTC pharmacy. IHTC is taking steps to help reduce the spread of respiratory illness at our Center.
Commonly Asked Questions
I have an appointment but I am not feeling well. Should I still come to my appointment?
If you have an appointment and are having signs of an illness like fever, cough, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, please call our office as soon as possible at 317.871.0000 (877.CLOTTER). We may need to change your appointment date and time.
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I am healthy but am worried about visiting clinic and being exposed to the flu or COVID-19. What is IHTC doing to help prevent the spread of illness in clinic?
Signs have been posted to let people know what to do if they are not feeling well when they arrive for a clinic appointment. IHTC staff will screen every patient who comes to clinic for these risk factors:
- Whether the patient has traveled outside of the U.S. in the last 30 days, and where
- Whether the patient has symptoms of fever, headache, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting
- Whether the patient has had direct or close contact (within 6 feet) with a patient who has these symptoms
If the patient is thought to have a virus that may infect other people, IHTC staff will:
- Make sure the patient wears a mask
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as needed when working with the patient
- Limit where the patient goes in clinic
- Clean and disinfect all exam room surfaces and other common-use areas
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I am an IHTC pharmacy patient. What happens if I get sick and can't leave my house?
IHTC pharmacy patients should not expect any change of service during the outbreak of COVID-19. Please call the IHTC with any questions about how to get prescriptions in case of an emergency. You can reach the IHTC pharmacy at 317.829.7778 or 877.633.4639.
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What can I do to help prevent getting and spreading the flu and COVID-19?
Keep taking all of your prescribed medicine. Do not stop any medicine unless a provider tells you to.
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including cell phones, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC generally recommends use of a face mask if you think you are ill - not to prevent illness
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure it is least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
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What else is the IHTC doing to help prevent the spread of the flu and COVID-19?
IHTC staff will follow the above CDC guidelines and will also:
- Not come to work if they are sick
- Observe U.S. State Department travel advisories
- Use sound judgement regarding traveling within the U.S. or abroad for business travel to places that do not have a travel advisory
- Seek approval for international travel for IHTC business
High quality patient care is very important to the IHTC. IHTC is paying close attention to the news about this outbreak. Please call 317.871.0000 (877.CLOTTER) for any questions or concerns.
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