Australian Hospital Guidelines: MCS/Chemical Sensitivities

Victorian Hospital Guidelines

Yippee! Victoria now have a set of hospital guidelines called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Guide for Victorian Hospitals for people who are sensitive to chemicals. Great news if one ever needs it. Personally, I’d rather not think about ever needing them (much rather think about avoiding getting sick, or devouring chocolate, or running like a rat in a cage on my trusty treadmill), but I’m truly glad and truly grateful they’re here if ever needed. Because who’d want to be in a hospital, if things like bleach, disinfectant-like cleaning products, and perfumes/fragrances/aftershaves/deodorants (worn by staff, and patients–and possibly even sprayed about in enclosed spaces–and hanging around in noxious clouds around each person wearing it) were in the air? Doesn’t sound like a place for healing someone who happens to have been medically tested and deemed to be sensitive to chemicals, now does it?

Well fear not, the guidelines are here! So print yourself off a copy, stash them somewhere safe, or download them and shoot them across in an email to that uncle who won’t visit anyone anymore because they don’t appreciate it when he tells them, “You’re stink is given me a f*$ken headache;  I can’t bloody well stay here with you lot if you keep spraying that poisoness sh*t on!” His relative’s windows rattle as he slams the front door on the way out and mumbles to no-one who’s listening, “I’ve told you all a zillion times: fragrance is made from chemicals, some are toxic! 2-methyl-4-phenyl-2-butyl acetate affects my breathing; it may smell like jasmine and roses to you but trust me, it’s f*%ken not!” He pulls out his asthma puffer as he goes home to spend another christmas alone… (Without his sister wearing her ‘Britney Spears Innocence’; her husband dipped in ‘Brute 33’; and his nephews soaked in ‘Lynx- I’ve got Dirty Balls‘ aromatic solvents.)

Poor guy, I’m sure he’ll feel a lot better now that the socially alienating condition he’s had for a decade is finally recognised in hospitals in Victoria (and in South Australia, and Western Australia, and the ACT). And you know what? He can show the guidelines to his family and say, “If professionals can give me the basic human right of breathing air without getting sick from their personal care products, then you guys can too. How about it?”

A summary extract from the Victorian Department of Health website states:

“Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a debilitating condition described as serious physical symptoms initiated by chemical exposure. Since there are no diagnostic or clinical guidelines for MCS in Australia, it is possible that some chemically hypersensitive individuals have symptoms more aligned with MCS.

Patients with an MCS condition may suffer from a variety of physical symptoms as a result of exposure to chemicals. The physical symptoms are likely to undermine patient treatment whilst in hospital, affecting recovery, health outcomes and wellbeing.

The chemicals or incitants (agents that produce clinical symptoms) vary considerably and are often found in hospital environments. These incitants may be in food and drink normally provided to in-patients and/or may include hospital cleaning and disinfectant products, as well personal products such as perfumes or hair care. The hospital stay of patients with MCS is ideally planned with hospital administration prior to admission and managed by health professional staff on an individual, case-by-case basis.

The purpose of this MCS Guide is to provide guidance and raise awareness of the need for hospitals to develop local policies/guidelines; it is not provided as a definitive MCS text or to argue the aetiology of the condition.”

If you would like to receive this publication in a format other than a PDF, it can be requested using this web feedback form here. Or alternatively, use the details below:

Quality and Safety Unit,
Quality, Safety and Patient Experience,
Hospital and Health Service Performance,
Department of Health
50 Lonsdale Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
Telephone: (61 3) 9096 9000

Cheers

Here’s to good health and thinking about chocolate and exercising on my treadmill!

Michellina Van Loder: The Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities ~ and finding my way out

 

South Australian Hospital Guidelines 

Oh, and here are the guidelines for the South Australian MCS-ers.

“Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) can be a very debilitating condition and afflicts, to various degrees of severity, about one per cent of the adult population in SA.  Treating a patient with MCS raises many challenges, one of which is providing an environment that is as devoid of chemical pollutants as possible.

The MCS Guidelines for South Australian Hospitals has been developed by the Department in conjunction with the intergovernmental MCS Reference Group, and is based on the Queensland Health model.

These guidelines are designed to help ensure that specific needs of MCS patients can be met, and in particular, to provide measures that should result in an environment that will minimise exposure of MCS patients to environmental chemicals. The implementation of these guidelines should reduce length of stay and improve individual health outcomes.”

Click here for a copy or alternatively, use the following details to make contact:

SA Health PO Box 287 Rundle Mall Adelaide SA 5000

 

Western Australia 

And now we have some for WA.  I sense a change in the air…

Western Australia – Country Health Service: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity/Chemical Hypersensitivity Guideline – PDF

 

ACT Hospital Operating Procedure Guidelines

An extract:

“To minimise discomfort, promote wellbeing and provide a safe environment for patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). The Health Directorate recognises the significant distress and impairment that is caused by MCS and is committed to providing an environment that reduces exposure to incitants (common triggers that produce clinical symptoms) and improving the health outcomes of people who require hospital based or non hospital based treatment.”

You can read more here: Canberra Hospital and Health Services Standard Operating Procedure 

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MCS/Chemical Sensitivities: Hospital Guidelines from Around Australia

This is a list of all the hospital guidelines throughout Australia for patients who are sensitive to chemicals or identify as having MCS

Western Australian Hospital Guidelines for patients with chemical sensitivity

WACountryHealthService
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity/ Chemical Hypersensitivity Guidelines for Hospitals

'Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A guide for Victorian hospitals' retrieved from the health.vic.gov.au document library

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a debilitating condition described as serious physical symptoms initiated by chemical exposure. Since there are no diagnostic or clinical guidelines for MCS in Australia, it is possible that some chemically hypersensitive individuals have symptoms more aligned with MCS.

Patients with an MCS condition may suffer from a variety of physical symptoms as a result of exposure to chemicals. The physical symptoms are likely to undermine patient treatment whilst in hospital, affecting recovery, health outcomes and wellbeing.

The chemicals or incitants (agents that produce clinical symptoms) vary considerably and are often found in hospital environments. These incitants may be in food and drink normally provided to in-patients and/or may include hospital cleaning and disinfectant products, as well personal products such as perfumes or hair care. The hospital stay of patients with MCS is ideally planned with hospital administration prior to admission and managed by health professional staff on an individual, case-by-case basis.

The purpose of this MCS Guide is to provide guidance and raise awareness of the need for hospitals to develop local policies/guidelines; it is not provided as a definitive MCS text or to argue the aetiology of the condition.

South Australian Health. MCS Guidelines for South Australian Hospitals

"[These MCS Guidelines] are designed to help hospital administrators and health professionals to best respond to the needs of people with MCS requiring hospital treatment thus ensuring access to effective, quality care and improved patient health outcomes. Meeting the environmental needs of people with MCS who require medical or surgical treatment in hospital is likely to reduce length of hospital stay and improve individual health outcomes."

 

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Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

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Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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