Cocooning Project Gaining Popularity|
Reno, Nev. (April 25, 2008) – Renown Regional Medical Center’s Cocooning Project, the first hospital to launch a pertussis (Tdap) project in the United States, is gaining popularity as health departments and hospitals from all over the U.S. are inquiring about developing their own Cocooning Project.
The Cocooning Project helps to prevent pertussis cases in infants less than a year old by immunizing family members and close contacts of the baby. Cocooning clearly describes what is being done to protect the infant. By immunizing all the close contacts of newborns, infants are surrounded with a “cocoon” of immunity until they are old enough to have developed their own immunity with the series of childhood vaccinations.
Kathie Lloyd, RN, Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist at Renown and one of the founders of the project, recently presented at the 42nd National Conference for the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. Lloyd gave an oral presentation on the Cocooning Project to physicians, nurses, health departments, and immunization coalitions from all over the U.S.
“The presentation was well received and exceeded our expectations,” said Lloyd. “The project and what we have done at our hospital was quoted throughout the conference by representatives. To say the presentation went well is an understatement. This project has put Renown on the national map.”
Renown continues to be recognized as a trendsetter in the medical community as a result of the Cocooning Project. Since Lloyd has returned from the presentation at the CDC Conference, she has been fielding phone calls and e-mails from interested health departments and hospitals in Chicago and Seattle. Lloyd has even received inquiries from Duke University and Michigan University. By the end of the year, Lloyd is scheduled to present at least four more times including a presentation at Renown’s Annual Nursing Excellence Conference and also submit an article to a professional journal for publication.
Pertussis, more commonly referred to as whooping cough, can have serious consequences, including pneumonia, seizures, cracked ribs, brain damage and even death. While children are given a pertussis vaccine at an early age, immunity gradually wears down leaving older teens and adults susceptible to infection. Recent studies show the number of pertussis cases in the past decade has increased and is at a 45-year high. Newborns contract the disease from family members 75 percent of the time, with 55 percent of those cases coming from parents.
Lloyd said that approximately 80 percent of mothers and 40 percent of fathers have agreed to take part in the Cocooning Project at Renown since it was established and implemented. By the end of April, Lloyd estimates that Renown will have given 10,000 vaccinations for pertussis and 3,000 for influenza. The project has decreased the risk for infection in the community and protected more than thousands of babies.
The Nevada State Health Division purchases the Tdap vaccine, Adacel, from manufacturer Sanofi-Pasteur, and supplies the hospital with the vaccine free of charge. Mothers and fathers can choose to be immunized shortly after the delivery of their newborn even though Lloyd now recommends that pregnant mothers get immunized before the baby is even born. An average of two doses of Tdap is given to each family with a newborn baby.
“The support from administration has made all the difference,” said Lloyd. “We have become a role model for hospitals everywhere and we truly appreciate all the support we have gotten. Renown Regional provided the site, staff and willingness to create something new and different in the practice of immunizations.”
The Tdap vaccine is offered to all families whose babies are born at Renown Regional. In addition, it is offered to the family of any child under one-year-old who is immuno-compromised; the flu vaccine is offered to the family of any child under five years old who is immuno-compromised.