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Flu forces hospital restrictions

January 17, 2013
Town Crier

RSV and influenza activity is steadily increasing and most of the country, including northeast Ohio, is now experiencing high levels of influenza-like illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both Akron Children's Hospital and Humility of Mary Health Partners hospitals have placed restrictions on visitors to help keep patients safe.

"At this time, we are taking proactive steps to protect our patients," said Nick Kreatsoulas, DO, chief medical officer at HMHP. "We want to limit those at risk from being exposed and reduce exposure to the flu."

Visitors under the age of 14 will not be permitted at either Akron Children's Mahoning Valley (except siblings) or St. Elizabeth Health Centers in Youngstown and Boardman until the flu season subsides, according to information provided by the hospitals. Children are exposed to many more germs in schools and day care and can easily infect others, or catch the flu by visiting someone in the hospital with the flu, representatives said.

Akron Children's noted their restrictions also include:

No more than two visitors (in addition to parents/guardians) should be in a patient room at any one time.

Only parents or guardians should visit in our critical care areas, like PICU, NICU, Special Care Nurseries, Burn Center, and Hematology/Oncology. Parents/guardians may arrange for visitors, on a limited basis.

In general, only children seeking evaluation or treatment at Akron Children's Hospital should be brought to the facility.

Playrooms are only open to patients and their parents/guardians. Siblings must remain in the patient's room.

HMHP facilities have suspended the practice of allowing one family member to stay overnight in the room with a patient until flu season subsides. Exceptions may be granted in cases of gravely ill or minor patients. HMHP officials also said that waiting rooms cannot be used for overnight accommodations in order to offer staff the time to clean and disinfect waiting rooms each evening, and enable patients to get the rest they need to recuperate.



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