Posts Tagged ‘PHS’

Top tips for travel with kids who have medical accessories

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015


Traveling with kids can be a big undertaking for any parent – and for parents of children with medical complexities, a trip can mean arranging additional logistics to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Planning is required to arrange additional necessary supplies, flying or driving with multiple pieces of equipment, and always being prepared to handle an emergency – whether you’re on an airplane, in the bathroom at an airport, or at a rest stop along the highway.

But that doesn’t stop Jill from making sure her daughter, Tana, gets to enjoy vacations with the rest of the family. Tana has enjoyed trips ranging from Mexico to the Pacific Northwest and fills her time there with skiing, horseback riding, and relaxation on the beach.

We love when our patients are able to get out and travel with family and friends – it’s part of the reason we believe so strongly that our patients do best at home. But the best trips are well planned trips – let your PHS clinician know you will be travelling so he or she can help get you set up for travel and make sure you have everything you need when you arrive.

Whether you’re hitting the road or going by air, there are a few things to keep in mind:

On the road

  • header-image_tanaAlways have access to the supplies you will need in an emergency close by. If they’re stored in the trunk, they will not be as easy to grab quickly and will require that you pull over if you find yourself in need of something.
  • Make sure your child is comfortable if it will be a long drive
  • Ensure your equipment is fully charged, and consider if you’ll need to stop during the drive to charge or make adjustments to equipment. Being prepared for these steps will help you be ahead of the game!

Air travel

  • Tana (13)Call the airline about your child’s medical needs before buying a plane ticket. Each airline has separate rules about the type of medical support it allows during a flight – most major airlines will accommodate your child’s medical equipment needs, whereas some charter airlines will not. You will also want to have a contact at the airport if you have more than 4 ounces of liquid to ensure you get through security without trouble.
  • An airline may require a doctor’s order before it allows medical support during a flight.
  • Make sure the airport terminal can meet your child’s needs while you wait to board the plane or after you arrive at your destination.

What to learn more about how families travel with their children who have medical complexities? Watch the video below to hear how Jill and Tana don’t let her equipment & supplies slow her down, and hear from PHS respiratory therapist Krystal Culliton on what PHS does to help make travel the smooth and enjoyable trip it should be.

Understanding Infusion: IVIG/SCIG

Friday, March 20th, 2015

When someone has low levels of immunoglobulin, also known as antibodies, in their blood, they may have an immune disorder and are at a higher risk for developing infection. To improve the functionality of their immune system, immunoglobulin can be administered in two ways: either intravenously (IVIG) or subcutaneously (SCIG). The PHS pharmacy provides the medication Hizentra, and PHS infusion nurses ensure it is administered properly and is effective for the patient.

But what are the differences between IVIG and SCIG?


Understanding Infusion: Enzyme Replacement Therapy

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Enzymes are crucial molecules in the human body, acting as catalysts to help reactions and assist in break downs throughout certain cells and saliva. But when someone has a Lysosomal Storage Disorder (LSD), their enzymes fail to function properly and they need to receive enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), which is administered through an IV. PHS nurses come to the patient’s home to provide infusions of medication prescribed to address their disorder, allowing life to go uninterrupted. (more…)

Understanding Infusion: Antibiotics

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Although there has been a lot of information about the over-use of antibiotics to treat illnesses, there are many instances where they are essential for treating and healing diagnoses or viruses. When a patient needs antibiotics administered through an IV rather than a pill or ointment, PHS provides that infusion therapy at home – making treatment seamless and allowing patients’ lives to continue uninterrupted while receiving care. Because when it comes down to it, kids deserve to be kids – infection or not. (more…)

Pot o’ gold rainbow craft

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

We’re seeing green and gold – and rainbows! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up next week, we decided to get in the spirit and found a craft that you can do with your kids that will add a little fun- and color – to your celebration. Most of the supplies can be found in your home, and the steps are all kid-friendly. So follow the directions below, hang it in your house, and your kids can watch for any leprechauns trying to get their pot o’ gold. If your kiddo makes their own, share a picture of it with us on Facebook!

Rainbow Twirler_3.11.15


25 Year All-Stars: Meet Paul

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

In 2015, PHS is excited to be celebrating 25 years of bringing patients home to receive care, where they can be with their families and grow in a comfortable environment. To celebrate the amazing journeys our patients have been on, we’re going to be highlighting their stories each month on the blog through the 25 Year All-Star series.


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In 1991, Paul’s parents were given a grim prognosis for their son – he would have one to three years to live. Having only been in business for two years when Paul came on service shortly after, PHS was committed to helping him grow up at home with his family while receiving the care he needed with respiratory therapy. Now, 24 years later, Paul has not only gone on to surpass all expectations but has done so with a great sense of humor and a love for Thursdays – and today, he is our second All-Star.

“I am one of the original people, after all,” Paul says with a smile. (more…)

25 Year All-Stars: Meet Peter

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

In 2015, PHS is excited to be celebrating 25 years of bringing patients home to receive care, where they can be with their families and grow in a comfortable environment. To celebrate the amazing journeys our patients have been on, we’re going to be highlighting their stories each month on the blog through the 25 Year All-Star series. Our first highlight will be a patient who started with us the same year PHS (or PHRS at the time) opened its doors – 1990. Check back as we chronologically feature patients who have come on service with us and continue to thrive!



With two older sisters, Peter is a proud uncle and recently gained a new title – godfather. He is happily living about a half hour away from his parents’ farm in a vent home, a space he has come to love and now considers his home.

“The first Christmas after he moved in, we had our celebration it was getting late, and he says, ‘guys, I’m getting tired. I need to go home,’” remember Brian and Cindy, Peter’s parents. “Because that space is home. He loves it there.” (more…)

Celebrating the tubies in your life

Friday, February 13th, 2015

10922427_878553385519354_8109774560838335027_nIf you follow us on Facebook, you already know that we’ve been celebrating Feeding Tube Awareness Week – seven days of fun dedicated to raising awareness and spreading the word about the impact feeding tubes have on people who rely on this method to receive some or all of their nutrients. We have some of the best dietitians around who are dedicated to ensuring our patients are growing and receiving the nutrition they need (featured in the picture on the right with Dr. Michelle Kennedy).

This week we asked our followers what benefits their child has received from tube feeding, shared a guide on dispelling common myths, heard about tube fed kiddos in 5 words or less, and asked for best tips or tricks for other parents managing feeding tubes. Visit our page to join in on the fun and share the information you’ve learned.

But our favorite (and cutest) part of the week was parents sharing photos of their adorable tubies showing off their coolest accessory. We love that these little buttons help keep kiddos healthy, and had to share the cuteness here.

Feeding Tube Awareness Week_collage

Do you have a tubie in your life? Share their story and a picture in the comments!

Keeping a harmful Medicare program out of MN Medicaid

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Elsa_compressFor 25 years, PHS has helped thousands of Minnesota children live successfully and safely at home with their families. For us to continue being able to provide that care, we have a team of staff dedicated to promoting sensible legislation at the Capitol and educating our legislators on the impact these laws will have on our population.

During the 2015 legislative session, one of PHS’s main focuses will be keeping Minnesota Medicaid from adopting the Federal Medicare “competitive bidding” program for home care durable medical equipment.

If “competitive bidding” were to be implemented to Medicaid, unsustainable reimbursement rates would force Minnesota durable medical equipment (DME) providers to close – an outcome that would leave families with reduced access to care for equipment and supplies that are essential to their child’s well-being and ability to live at home, and thousands of Minnesotans without their job. Without this access, patients would be forced to live in the hospital – inevitably increasing costs to the state.

To hear about the impact “competitive bidding” implementation would have on Minnesota’s most complex population, we reached out to two individuals who will be affected personally. Rick and Patrick have been receiving equipment and supplies from durable medical equipment companies for a number of years, and are able to live a full, happy life at home thanks to this access. Check out the video below to learn more about the devastating impact this law would bring to patients and their families across the state.

To learn more about what you can do to let your legislators know the impact this program will have on you and your loved ones, visit our legislative page  where we have ideas for getting involved and materials to further educate you on the legislation.

Celebrating 25 years of thriving

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

DSC_2876A lot has changed in home care over the last quarter century. In 1990, the idea of bringing patients with such complex medical needs home to receive care was revolutionary – today, vent-dependent children aren’t just going home on this durable medical equipment, they’re living lives filled with jobs, sports and family. Patients in need of infusion therapy don’t need to drive to the clinic multiple times a week to get their care, they’re receiving it from the comfort of their living room. (more…)