Baxter Regional Medical Center has chosen to restrict visitors to the Women's Center, Maternity and Nursery to reduce the probability of spreading the H1N1 influenza to its patients.
Gregory Elders, senior physician at the BRMC Women's Center, Maternity, and Nursery announced that "due to the increased presence of influenza, of all types, in our community, and the H1N1 influenza effect on pregnant women especially, we are instituting the following precautions: 12 year-old and younger children will be restricted from the unit; teenagers 13-18 years old will be requested to wear a mask due to the prevalence of the virus in this age group; anyone, including immediate family members, with fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, or congestion should not visit the unit; all maternal discharges from the BRMC Women's Center, both delivered and undelivered, should be offered an influenza vaccination," according to a press release from Baxter Regional Medical Center.
"This is for the protection of our pregnant mothers and infants and should take affect immediately," he stated.
BRMC initiated a new policy because of the increased presence of influenza in the community with the following precautions: anyone, including family members, with fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, or congestion should not visit patients in the hospital; unless your child is coming for treatment, children 12 and younger will be restricted from the hospital. This is for your child's protection since this age group is extremely vulnerable.
"We are asking the public to help us fight the flu in our area by following the 'Three C's,'" said Sherry McGoldrick, infection control for BRMC, in a general press release regarding the presence of H1N1. The "Three C's," originally instituted on the Center for Disease Control Web site are Clean -- wash hands with warm soapy water and use hand sanitizer when warm soapy water is not available and keep surfaces clean where you could pick up virus from those who are coughing or sneezing; Cover -- cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and dispose tissue after use, or cough or sneeze into your elbow; Contain -- stay home if you are sick and contact your family physician."
A plan has been put in place at Fulton County Hospital to be implemented at the discretion of the administration and infection control nurse if flu-like symptoms begin to be a concern in the hospital, said Joe Hammond, administrator for Fulton County Hospital.
"We have not yet restricted visitors at our hospital, however if someone presents flu-like symptoms in the ER they will be asked to wear a mask during their stay at the hospital," said Sheila Mace, public relations coordinator at White River Medical Center. Nurses that care for those with flu-like symptoms will wear masks while they treat those patients, she said.
Hand sanitizer is available at every entrance to the hospital, Mace said.
Along with the requirements set forth by the CDC and ADH, White River has developed priority guidelines for high-risk employees to receive the H1N1 vaccination.