On May 20, 2020, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, along with the other healthcare provider unions, signed a Joint Statement on Principles for Protecting the Health and Safety of Healthcare Workers, Patients, Clients, and Residents with the Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
The goal - ensuring healthcare providers, following a point of care risk assessment, have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) required to protect themselves and their patients, clients or residents from exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
"A point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA) must be performed before every patient, client or resident interaction, using current knowledge and best-available evidence. If a health care worker determines, based on reasonable grounds (including but not limited to professional and clinical judgement) that health and safety measures may be required in the delivery of care to the patient, client or resident, then the worker shall have access to the appropriate health and safety control measures based on the PCRA, including an N95 respirator. Employers will not unreasonably deny access to the appropriate PPE."
To ensure the safety of everyone - SUN encourages registered nurses, members of the healthcare team across all designations and positions, and Employers alike to apply the precautionary principle to PPE when caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive patients, clients or residents.
SUN members are reminded to invoke their right to have access to the appropriate PPE based on their PCRA and professional judgement as outlined and supported by the Joint Statement.
VIEW: Joint Statement on Principles for Protecting the Health and Safety of Healthcare Workers, Patients, Clients, and Residents
VIEW: Point of Care Risk Assessment Algorithm & Point of Care Risk Assessment Guidelines
Precautionary Principle & OH&S Law
A recent legal opinion posted by a leading Canadian law firm Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP recommends employers “benchmark to current best practices” and follow “appropriate precautionary measures”:
“Where there is conflicting evidence as to whether a certain precautionary measure is required or not, hospitals should adopt the elevated precautionary measure(s). Hospitals should be cognizant that it will be the hospital that will be legally liable for any failures to protect patients and staff from harm, even if hospitals have relied on federal, provincial or municipal government directives in establishing its own plans, policies and procedures.”
Source: CFNU Safety Is Not Negotiable Pandemic Preparedness – the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Resources to keep you safe
In the December 14th Daily Rounds, the SHA reported the following clinical documents have been added (new) or updated on the SHA website.
- CV-19 A0021 Management of COVID Recovered Patients
This document provides guidance for precautions when managing COVID recovered patients.
- CV-19 G0072 IPAC Outbreak Preparedness Checklist for Acute Care Facilities
- CV-19 G0073 IPAC Outbreak Preparedness Checklist for LTC Facilities
These documents were developed to assist acute care and long term care facilities with assessing their readiness to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak. Additional checklists are being developed for if a facility is in an outbreak. Until those documents are complete, facilities may use existing checklists for their facility if they better suit their needs. Additional links have been placed on the Clinical Practice Resource section as well (Under General and Continuing Care).
- CV-19 G0079 PPE Guidelines for Emergency Departments
This document was developed to support the messaging that went to the EDs regarding continuous mask & eye protection for staff and the use of N95s for all AGMPs in the ED setting.
- CV-19 G0059 COVID-19 IPAC Recommendations for AGMPs Performed in Shared Spaces
This document has been revised to separate out the sections for patients who meet clearance criteria and patients who do not meet clearance criteria and also to include that N95s are required for all AGMPs in ER/OR and for code blue management. This document better aligns with the COVID rapid safety update for AGMPs.
FYI - Code Blue Clinical Documents: