Outhospital management of H1N1 influenza epidemic
To analyze the model of H1N1 infection management by home visits by SOS Doctors in Athens, Greece, during the last outbreak. SOS Doctors is a network of specialized physicians that perform emergency home visits on a 24hr basis.
We performed a prospective study regarding patients with respiratory infection for the period 1/11/2009-31/01/2010. The intention of the study was to analyze the patients with viral respiratory infection, the patients who had a rapid test for seasonal type A & B influenza, the patients who were diagnosed as having influenza and the patients who were admitted to a hospital after a home visit.
From a total of 10498 home visits performed during the period 1/11/2009-31/01/2010, 2417 (23.2%) were performed for viral respiratory infections.
From the 2417 patients, 945 (39.5%) were tested for influenza with a rapid test. Furthermore, 330/945 were found to be positive for influenza (34.9%)/
From the 2417patients with viral respiratory infection 40 were admitted to hospital (1.65%).
From the 945 patients who were diagnosed as suffering from influenza 13 were admitted to hospital (1.37%).
From the 330 patients who were diagnosed by a rapid test as having influenza, in 144 (43.6%) Tamiflu was prescribed.
The model of SOS Doctors for outhospital management of H1N1, influenza patients seems to be effective, since only a small percentage was referred for hospital treatment.
It provides avoidance of unnecessary hospital visits with minimizing the risk of nosocomial infection and outpatient department overcrowding.
Financially, the cost of management is minimal per patient (100 € approximately), while the follow up performed by the organization (SOS Doctors) reassures the well being of patients.
The suggested model of outhospital management of H1N1 influenza epidemic by SOS Doctors in Greece proved to be effective in all matters.