Why temperature screening can help protect care home residents

As the UK begins phase 2 of their lockdown response, temperature screening could become integral to care homes for protecting elderly residents against coronavirus.

With care homes in Wales and Ireland now reopening for visitation, care homes in England will hopefully be reopening soon. It is of the utmost important to ensure that your residents and staff are safe during this time.

The NHS has reported that the main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell. In March, the British Geriatrics Society recommended that care staff are trained in the checking of temperature.

Why is temperature screening needed?

By using temperature screening to support visitation, care homes will be able to quickly and safely detect whether someone is displaying coronavirus symptoms and prevent them from entering. Some care homes, such as Barchester, have already implemented temperature screening for visitors.

In addition to the standard social distancing measures and the use of PPE, if everyone who enters is tested, then the likelihood of coronavirus entering a care home will be significantly lower. This extra level of security is vital for the healthcare sector and helps residents and families feel safer and better protected.

Posting extra staff at the door for temperature checks can be a costly procedure, that’s why we’ve introduced the Marsden Wall-Mounted Thermometer. Its biggest selling points are that it is contactless, and can be used to detect an elevated temperature on the forehead of a visitor, with an accuracy of ± 0.3° C. Plus, because it's automatic, there is no need for a member of staff to be standing at the door. If a high temperature is detected, then a warning will sound to notify staff.

Employees may feel uneasy about being on door duty, because of the risk of contracting coronavirus; dispel that worry by installing an automatic thermometer and remove the need for staff members to come into close contact with the public.

Identifying residents with Coronavirus

It may also be effective to carry out regular temperature screening checks on residents for symptoms of the virus. The Marsden Infrared Thermometer is ideal for this. It’s small, compact, and can be easily carried from room to room to safely test residents, without causing them any stress or needing to move them to a set location. It’s also Medical Devices Directive (MDD) Approved, so you know it’s a device you can count on.

It takes a matter of seconds for the thermometer to take a temperature and, if a high temperature is detected during these tests, then the thermometer will alert the staff member. Safety measures can then be carried out to prevent further spread of the virus.

Protect staff and residents alike by implementing a temperature screening process in your care home. Speak to a member of the Marsden team today to learn more about the thermometers.

Checking staff members

Given that staff are currently the most likely to bring the virus into the care home, it’s imperative that staff are regularly checked for signs of the virus. This is in addition to them respecting social distancing measures, wearing PPE, and regularly washing their hands.

What else can care homes do?

In recent weeks, a new symptom of coronavirus has come to light - low blood oxygen levels.

Care homes can check for this symptom in residents - and staff, if required - by using an oximeter. A good fingertip pulse oximeter will provide you with SpO2 readings - anything below 95% is low enough to suggest an early sign of coronavirus.

Further Reading

How does a pulse oximeter detect coronavirus? Read our blog post to find out.

Temperature screening can be a highly effective tool for detecting coronavirus and this is why our new wall mounted thermometer is perfect for businesses with large workforces.

Marsden is now producing PPE! View our full range here.

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