Hospitals Restricting Some Visits Due to H1N1

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Hospital emergency departments welcome patients who are sick with H1N1 and need admission. They are so welcoming to visitors coming to see a patient who just had surgery or just had a baby.

Public Health departments, hospitals, and physicians continue to stress prevention tactics: washing hands, coughing into your sleeve and not your hand, and staying home when sick.

The staying home prevention tactic is being expanded as hospitals across the country ask that children and teens, citing the high rates of H1N1 flu in this group, not visit patients. Some hospitals have actually banned anyone under the age of 14 from visiting. Others suggest strongly that visitors be limited to adults, preferably to the patient’s immediate family or designated caregiver.

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Family and friends who do visit should be very good at the prevention tactics mentioned above: washing hands, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or sleeve. Don’t visit if you have flu like symptoms of coughing, fever, or muscle aches.

Some hospitals are providing masks, alcohol hand gels and tissues in public areas of the facilities. Use them and help prevent the spread of H1N1.

Patients in the hospital are susceptible to H1N1 as they are in a weakened state. This is especially true in the burn, transplant, and ICU patients. H1N1 also is known to target pregnant women. These departments may deny visitation to anyone who does not appear well or has symptoms of H1N1.

The request applies to pastors visiting members of their faith community, except in end-of-life and critical situations. Exceptions may be made for visitors of patients who are in critical condition or in end-of-life situations.

For information go to www.flu.gov.

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