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TLRMC initiates flu restrictions

January 24, 2018

By: Krissy Logsdon, BSN, RN

Director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center

 

 

Due to high Influenza activity within our community and surrounding areas, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC) in Leitchfield has initiated visitor restrictions effective immediately. These restrictions are part of an effort to keep our patients safe from further illness and our staff healthy so they may continue to provide top quality patient care.

 

Restrictions include the following:

 

NO visitors with Flu-like symptoms (FEVER, COUGH, and SORE THROAT). Masks, tissues, and hand sanitizer are available at the main entrance into the hospital and by the Emergency Department registration entrance.

 

NO visitors age 15 or under.

 

NO MORE THAN TWO VISITORS in a hospital patient room at one time.

 

NO VISITORS OTHER THAN IMMEDIATE FAMILY or other significant persons defined by the patient. Exceptions to these restrictions may be made for cases involving critically ill patients and end of life situations.

 

The staff at TLRMC has been educated to encourage visitors that are ill and showing signs of Influenza infection (cough, sneezing, fever, chills, body aches, and general fatigue) to wear a mask and not visit patients until symptoms subside for at least 24 hours. For convenience, “Cover your cough” stations are located at the main entrance into the hospital and at the entrance near the Emergency Department registration that provide masks, tissues, and hand sanitizer to utilize to decrease the chance of spreading or obtaining germs if you must present to the hospital. For other areas of the facility, staff will be offering the same protective equipment to help contain organisms that could cause illness.

We highly recommend disinfecting hands by using soap and water, or alcohol-based rubs found throughout the facility. It is a fact that hand hygiene is the number one way to decrease transmission of disease and illness.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thus far into the current flu season “A total of 20 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2017-2018 season” (CDC, 2018). It is recommended that no visitors age 15 or under present to the hospital to visit a hospitalized patient unless absolutely necessary.

 

People with symptoms of flu can spread it to others that are within 6 feet of them. Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets produced during coughing, sneezing, or talking. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and cause infection; these droplets can also possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Transmission can also occur due to touching surfaces or objects that have the flu virus on them and then touching mouths and/or noses (CDC, 2018).

 

This proves why it is important for us to disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school, especially if someone is showing signs of infection as noted above. It is also EXTREMELY important for us to perform hand hygiene frequently. Using soap and water or alcohol-based rubs are effective to decrease the chance of transmitting illness to others. Just be sure to rub alcohol-based foams/gels until dry to all areas of the hands and wrists. As long as the rub is wet, it is still killing organisms that cause illness.

 

In summary, please think about family, friends, children, the elderly, and others if symptoms of illness are present. Please, cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hand. FREQUENTLY WASH YOUR HANDS, and disinfect frequently used surfaces, such as door knobs, desk tops, computer key boards, pens/pencils, shopping cart handles, and whatever we can see that is touched frequently.

 

We are asking our community to help by working as a team to keep each other as healthy as possible. Remember, if you are experiencing Flu-like symptoms please DO NOT visit hospitalized patients and help us keep our patients safe from further illness.