Homecare providers throughout Southern California have been scrambling to respond to the unprecedented fires sweeping through the region. About 20,000 patients served by Apria Healthcare alone have been displaced or face extreme smoke conditions, triggering implementation of their emergency response plans.
"The entire team in Southern California is working on our emergency response in some capacity, either by staffing the disaster shelters, conducting patient inquiry calls, or delivering oxygen and medical equipment directly to homes," said Steve Foreman, Apria's regional VP of operations for Southern California.
The company first contacted critical care patients in the region - for example those on ventilators or pediatric patients who require oxygen. "We reviewed the evacuation shelter list and equipment needs with them, such as assessing the status of their back-up batteries and portable suction units. Then we contacted or attempted to reach all respiratory patients to make sure that they had adequate supplies until we could get to them," said Foreman.