RECOMMENDED APPROACH TO CARE OF HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS
WITH MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES (MCS)

Ann McCampbell, MD
Erica Elliott, MD

1) LISTEN TO THE PATIENT

Reassure patient you understand he or she is chemically sensitive and will work with him or her in providing care.

Communicate on an ongoing basis about the patient’s environment, evaluation, and treatment; be willing to answer detailed questions.

Respect patient’s concerns and limits.

Remember that patient sensitivities vary in kind and severity from person to person.

2) CLEARLY FLAG CHART THAT PATIENT IS CHEMICALLY SENSITIVE

3) CONSULT WITH PATIENT’S ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSICIAN (when possible)

4) PROTECT THE PATIENT FROM AIR POLLUTION

       Assign to private room with:

      No pesticides, new paint or carpet, or other recent remodeling

      No perfume on care-givers or fabric softener on their clothes (put sign on door)

      Non-smoking care-givers (put sign on door)

      No strong cleaners, fragranced products, including hand sanitizers (put sign on door)

Use least toxic disinfectants, such as hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach or phenol-based products, whenever possible

Allow patient to wear mask/respirator, use air filter, and open window as needed

Keep door to patient’s room closed

Reduce time patient must spend in other parts of the hospital by performing as many
procedures and evaluations as possible in patient’s room

5) USE PATIENT’S MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT (whenever possible)

Oxygen mask and tubing

Medications, food, and water

Bedding, clothing, and soap

6) KEEP DRUG USE TO A MINIMUM

Listen to patient’s concerns about drug use and history of reactions

Avoid drug use if possible, otherwise administer low doses with caution

Use IV fluid without dextrose (many react to corn-based dextrose)

Glass IV bottles are preferred, but if unavailable, use DEHP-free plastic bags

Preservative-free drug formulations are best

Capsules are generally better than tablets (less binders, fillers, and dyes)

Use short-acting regional rather than general anesthesia whenever possible

Try to avoid the use of halogenated gas anesthetics

For sources of IV fluid, preservative-free medications, and other products suitable for chemically sensitive patients, call Ann McCampbell, MD at (505) 466-3622.

1/27/99, amended 12/1/02, 8/26/12