Category Archives: Hospital Protocols

“Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals”

Canada’s top medical journal, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), says
Artificial scents have no place in our hospitals

Hospital NO Fragrance

“These patients may be involuntarily exposed to artificial scents from staff, other patients and visitors, resulting in worsening of their clinical condition. As patients,
family members and emergency physicians will attest, the attacks can be quite sudden and serious. There is little justification for continuing to tolerate artificial scents in our
hospitals.” …

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Are Healthy Hospitals Possible?

That may seem like a dumb question to people who haven’t been in a hospital, but to the rest of us, including those of us who can’t even go into a hospital in life or death situations, it’s a serious one.

hospitals make us sick

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Check out this TEDMED video where Robin Guenther* discusses connections between health and environmental design, and what she and others are doing to make things  different:

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Hospital Protocols for People With MCS/ES

hospital

Some hospitals around the world are developing fragrance-free policies and other less toxic practices, but most health-care environments can still be dangerous places to be for people with MCS/ES, presenting enormous challenges if health care services are needed, as I quoted from the ES-MCS Sensitivities Status Report in the post Canadian Statistics on MCS/ES.

“For ES-MCS sufferers the ideal of ‘patient-centred care’ is currently in stark contrast to realities within the health care system. Knowledgeable healthcare professionals and support workers are so few as to be virtually inaccessible most of the time. For moderately or severely chemically sensitive persons, physicians’ offices, clinics and hospitals commonly are unsafe places to wait, consult, or undergo procedures because patients can be exposed to many symptom triggers emitted from furnishings, cleaning and laundry products, disinfectants, and personal care products on staff or other patients, making their conditions worse. Fragrance/scent-free hospital, home care and rehabilitation services are very rarely available, and there are no chemically safe emergency shelters. Consequently, patients with severe chemical sensitivities may avoid seeking care, risking further deterioration and chronicity, thereby being “caught between a rock and a hard place.”

It can be a difficult decision for many of us when we experience symptoms, whether or not to have them checked out. Sometimes we wait too long, other times we just can’t go because the going is too dangerous for our health. Toni Bernhard touches upon it in Psychology Today, although MCS/ES adds another layer of complications to the decisions:  “5 Tough Choices You Face When Chronically Ill or in Pain

If a trip to the hospital is required, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. If it’s not an emergency, then your choice of the following documents can be forwarded and discussed in advance. Otherwise, carrying paper copies or discs with us at all times could be warranted, in case of emergency.

The following is a list of the best protocols and websites I’ve found, with important resources and documents for people willing and able to take the risks to advocate for themselves or to provide to others so they can do it on our behalf if we are not able.

Hopefully you have the time to go through them and choose what is most suitable for you before the need arises. With any luck, you won’t need them, but it’s good to be  prepared “just in case”.

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