JANUARY 8, 2015
FLU SEASON VISITATION CHANGES TAKE EFFECT TODAY AT PENINSULA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
This flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst on record.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene now classifies the flu as widespread and at a high intensity level. In Delaware, the flu rate is running almost 10 times higher than a year ago.
At Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), there have been 121 positive flu tests this year alone compared to just 80 in all of 2013-2014’s flu season. The 26 confirmed inpatient flu cases are, at this point, already double what they were for all of last year’s flu season. Confirmed flu cases in the Emergency Department are also nearly double what they were last year with at least two months remaining in the traditional flu season here on the Delmarva Peninsula.
PRMC’s number one priority is keeping everyone healthy. Joining many other hospitals in Maryland and across the Delmarva Peninsula, the Medical Center has instituted a modified visitor policy to help prevent exposure this flu season.
Peninsula Regional asks all visitors to keep patients and the community further protected from the flu by following these changes to the PRMC visitation policy, which go into effect today, January 8.
- Only two adults are allowed to visit patient care areas such as patient rooms, therapy areas, outpatient services and Peninsula Regional Medical Center physician offices.
- To protect the safety of patients, employees, volunteers, the elderly and those with chronic conditions (asthma, heart disease), people with active cases of upper respiratory illness (cough, fever, etc.) should not visit patients.
- Children under the age of 18, unless they are a patient or the parent of a patient, are not allowed to visit patient care areas located on the Peninsula Regional campus such as patient rooms, therapy areas, outpatient service areas and Medical Center physician offices. Special accommodations will be made for end-of-life circumstances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that young people are more at-risk as carriers and transmitters of the seasonal flu virus.
- People with Peninsula Regional outpatient or physician appointments are asked to come to those appointments without their children under age 18, unless the appointment is for the child.
- Only two adult visitors are permitted to visit in Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby Units.
- To reduce the risk of exposure, it is recommended that pregnant women not visit unless seeking medical treatment.
- Parents of babies in the Special Care Nursery will still be able to visit for breastfeeding and bonding, unless the parents are exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
- In Pediatrics, parents are allowed to visit around the clock.
- Mask and hand hygiene stations will continue to be provided throughout the Medical Center and at all key entry points.
- Unit staff will work with families on an individual basis to accommodate special-needs circumstances.
“We understand the inconvenience this may cause some people, but as a healthcare institution, we need to make sure that we ensure the health of our patients, the visiting public and their families as best we can during this flu season,” said Karen Mihalik, RN, PRMC Infection Preventionist. “It’s also absolutely necessary to protect a healthcare team that needs to be here providing the care others will seek from us this flu season.”
Peninsula Regional will be constantly evaluating the impact of the flu and will continue to make the necessary modifications to its visitation policy over the next few months.
The Medical Center thanks the communities it serves for helping them to stop the spread of the flu, and reminds everyone to get their seasonal flu shot and to participate in good hygiene practices including sneezing or coughing into your sleeve and frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizing.
Still Need Your Flu Shot?
PRMC COMMUNITY WALK-IN FLU CLINIC
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Wednesday, January 14
Avery W. Hall Educational Center Auditorium (PRMC Campus)
Waverly Drive and Vine Street
Age 13 and Above (13-17, please bring a parent)