Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Because of Flu, Carilion Limits Visitation

Roanoke-based Carilion Clinic hospitals are taking additional steps to lessen the spread of flu-like illness, including the H1N1 and seasonal flu virus.

“As the number of patients with flu-like illness continues to increase, we feel that additional precautions are necessary,” says Thomas Kerkering, medical director of Carilion Clinic’s Infectious Disease Department. “We are trying to protect our patients, their families and our hospital staff, while reducing opportunities for flu to spread in the community.”

New visitation policies that have been temporarily implemented at Carilion Clinic hospitals include:
  • Visitors under the age of 18 will not be allowed to visit the hospital. -Patients with flu-like illness are limited to one visitor.
  • Visitors to any patients who are isolated with flu-like illness will be required to wear masks, gloves and gowns as requested by hospital staff. -People with flu-like symptoms and colds should not visit the hospital.
  • People with flu-like symptoms do not need to go to a hospital emergency department unless they are having difficulty breathing or are dehydrated.
Visitors are discouraged from visiting patients with flu-like illnesses. If visitation is necessary, patients with flu-like symptoms may only have one visitor at a time. Other measures being taken include employee flu shot clinics for the seasonal flu beginning Monday, Oct. 12. The H1N1 vaccine should be available for employees within the next week.

Additionally, everyone should take the following steps to protect their health:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue in the trash after each use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick when possible.
(Carilion press release.)

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