Release Date: 10-15-2009 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, October 13, 2009)…Concerned about the current flu season, Wayne Memorial Hospital is taking several steps to reduce the exposure of hospitalized patients to infection, including restricting visitation and posting hygiene stations at entryways.
Starting Monday, October 19th, children under 18 years of age will not be permitted to visit patients on any floor, including maternity. The Hospital is also asking anyone with a cough, cold, sore throat, fever or flu-like symptoms to please not visit.
“We are taking these precautionary measures for infection control,” said Virginia Fries, MS, RN, director of Patient Care Services. “Children are carriers of viruses—prime carriers of the flu— and a number of our patients are immuno-compromised. We need to limit their exposure to anyone who may be a flu virus carrier.”
Ms. Fries noted that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the H1N1 flu, and, at the same time, infants under six months of age cannot be vaccinated. “This is why we feel it is very important to not allow youngsters to visit their newborn siblings in our maternity unit, New Beginnings. The primary goal is keeping mom and baby healthy, which means they can go home sooner rather than later.”
The Hospital has also instructed its childbirth education instructor to include the new visiting restrictions in childbirth classes so families are prepared.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the groups typically hardest hit by the seasonal flu—primarily the elderly and very young—are different from the primary groups being struck most by the H1N1 virus—pregnant women and young people. This puts many more people at risk for flu in general.