I find Nursing's articles to be informative, educational, and eye-opening. But as a school nurse, I was concerned when I read in your article, "Assessing a Patient for Lice Infestation" (Clinical Do's and Don'ts, July 2008),* that "anyone in close contact with the patient should be treated simultaneously." I took this to mean that all members of a household or close contacts of those exposed should be treated with chemical pediculicides.
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Recent research has shown that only those patients with active lice or viable eggs should be treated with pec-ulicides. Daily head checks of those who have been exposed are recommended.
Because of overtreatment with pediculicides, many lice have become resistant to the treatment shampoos. I'm concerned that too many patients, especially children, are being unnecessarily placed at risk for adverse reactions to chemical treatments for head lice. Pediculosis isn't a disease; it's just a nuisance.
DONNA L. KAPLAN, RN, BSN, MED
*Individual subscribers can also access these articles free online at http://www.nursing2009.com. [Context Link]