Presence Mercy Medical Center
Title
Presence Mercy Medical Center Initiates Flu Restrictions Due to Spike in Flu Cases
Date
03/02/2016
Article

Due to the high incidence of influenza activity, on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Presence Mercy Medical Center initiated age restricted visitor guidelines and began conducting flu symptom checks upon entry. Patients with flu-like symptoms in the Emergency Department and outpatient waiting areas will be segregated and provided masks for germ control.

Flu restrictions include:

 

  • Visitors under 18-years-old are not allowed to visit any unit.
  • A maximum of two individuals over the age of 18 are able to visit at any one time.
  • Visitors with symptoms of upper respiratory infection should refrain from visiting. If visits must occur for a patient well-being, visitors with symptoms will be required to wear a mask.
  • Patients who are in isolation for flu treatment will be limited to receiving only those visitors who are essential for their emotional well-being and care.

“Over the past two weeks we have seen a significant spike in influenza-like-illness in our Emergency Department,” said Laura Marconnet, BSN, RN, Infection Control Manager. “For the well-being of our patients, visitors and staff it is important to initiate these restrictions and policies.”

According to Marconnet, in addition to getting a flu shot, you can also protect yourself against the flu through frequent hand washing. Practicing “cough etiquette” will reduce the risk for transmission of influenza. When sneezing or blowing you nose, utilize facial tissue and then hand sanitize, cough into your shoulder or sleeve, and keep at a distance from others. The practice of “cough etiquette” should be respectfully encouraged with others you encounter as well.  

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends contacting your doctor before going to an emergency department if you are experiencing flu symptoms.  However, seek emergency medical care if you or someone you know is having any of following warning signs.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

For additional prevention tips and other educational resources, please visit www.flu.gov.

 

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