April 7, 2016
April is Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month
Greater awareness is the key to ensure that people with PID can be diagnosed, treated and lead productive lives. The diagnosis of a primary immunodeficiency disease is a life-changing event, but it can be viewed in a positive way. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and compliance with treatment can maximize the potential for a full and normal life.
Nurses can assist patients by encouraging compliance and a common sense approach to preventing infection. The following tips are good practice for anyone, but especially important for someone with a compromised immune system.
- Wash your hands: Hand washing should be done vigorously with soap for at least 15 seconds. It is the easiest way to prevent the spread of germs that can lead to infection.
- Maintain a healthy diet: A healthy diet provides essential nutrients needed for body repair and maintenance. A poor diet can lead to many illnesses, including infection.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise is an excellent stress and anxiety reducer.
- Sleep well: Lack of adequate sleep has been shown to have a negative effect on the immune system. The average amount of sleep needed for a person 16 years of age and older is 8 hours. Erratic sleep patterns stress the immune system and enhance the potential for infection to develop.
- Reduce Stress: Multiple scientific studies have been done on stress and the immune system. Many of these studies suggest that the reduction of stress can actually improve the function of the immune system.
As with all of our patients, CHS and our nurses are passionate about providing the highest level of care to our PI patients. We pride ourselves on taking extra precautions and necessary steps to ensure that our facilities, equipment, and staff adhere to the strictest guidelines to keep our patients safe.
Donna Logan, RN, IgCN
CHS Director of Nursing