Product Description: Only recently has significant concern and attention been focused on 'Sick Buildings', 'Desert Storm Mystery Illness', 'Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)', 'Indoor Air Pollution', increasing cases of asthma and allergies (especially in children and the elderly), immune system compromise and many other disorders associated with poor air quality and chemical toxicity. Health problems have been escalating and there is no known cure for many of these disorders. However, there is a direct parallel with the rising cost of health care and the increasing numbers of people getting sick. We need to ask "Why this increase in illness?" - "Why all the 'new' illnesses?" and "What can we do to prevent illness?".
The general purpose of this publication is to educate hospital staff who care for us so they are more aware of medical problems caused by poor air quality and exposure to common chemicals (including disinfectants, formaldehyde and latex). Knowing this, attention can then be given not only to recognition of diseases caused by chemicals, but to preventing them as well.
This text will better familiarize hospital staff and administration of the needs of those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) disability. The Social Security Administration, Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) and other governmental agencies have recognized MCS as a valid disability and those with MCS are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In the past, those with MCS were further harmed by improper medical care. It would be impossible to convey all the pain and suffering experienced by those with MCS, know how many are suffering and remain undiagnosed, or know how many have been misdiagnosed and placed on psychiatric and anti-depressant drugs.
Many diagnostic opinions are rendered by hospital staff and medical treatment is then based on these opinions. Many times these uninformed 'opinions', based on personal attitudes and beliefs, cause further harm to patients instead of helping them. This manual, Healthier Hospitals, offers factual representation of the needs of MCS patients in a hospital setting. We strongly encourage MCS education and hospital staff orientation in efforts to dispel the many myths about chemical sensitivity.
As a person disabled with MCS several years ago, I quickly learned that dealing with my disease included facing the blatant discrimination, unkind remarks, and a lack of support, cooperation and understanding of others, especially the medical profession. It is difficult, at best, to be forced to look ahead to any and all possible situations, foods and environments which may harm your health. It is yet quite another to have to deal with those who will place roadblocks in your way due to a lack of knowledge.
I am hoping all hospitals will make an effort to remove some of these roadblocks. By implementing the suggestions in this manual you will help those with MCS as well as those suffering from other illnesses caused by environmental factors. You will help those working in hospitals and reduce hospital liability. You will promote good will and greater understanding. You will reduce health problems and thus health care costs. And, unlike many other improvements in society these days, most of the suggested recommendations do not cost anything to implement.
Let's all work together for a 'healthier' hospital environment.
Publisher: Toni Temple and the O.N.F.C.I.
Date Published: 1996
Table of Contents: Foreword by the Author
Hospital Staff: 1
General Hospital Environment: 3
Patient's Room: 11
Physical Therapy: 23
Solutions within the System: 24
How the MCS patient can use this manual: 25
A Physician's Perspective: 27
Final Thoughts: 27
About the Author
About the Author: I met Toni Temple and her family in 1978. We became good friends, as well as business associates, and socialized on frequent occasions. She displayed no visible signs of illness and seemed to be in good health during this time.
I had occasion to work with her and observe her in a business setting in the early 1980's while she was Director of Administration for three state trade associations.
Her health began to gradually deteriorate and, in the late 1980's, she became extremely ill and was no longer able to function. Physicians could find no cause for her health related problems. At this time, no one seemed to believe that she was sick, but I saw physical evidence such as lesions, rashes, swelling and shortness of breath.
Her physicians wouldn't believe that zinc chloride was poisoning Toni, even though she furnished them with numerous reports from the chemists who analyzed the dust sample from her home and furnace. She struggled unsuccessfully to find medical assistance, going from doctor to doctor, until finally, her immune system became irreversibly damaged. Toni became totally disabled in 1990 and now suffers from extreme chemical sensitivities, anemia and chronic blood clotting problems as a result of her exposures to chemicals.
Had physicians believed her and detected this earlier, perhaps she would not have been permanently damaged and have been spared from this debilitating disease.
Her life today is a series of struggles to accomplish the simplest of tasks. The difference in her former life and the one she must live today is incomparable.
-Lynda Cline, An educator and a good friend.