Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park is implementing temporary restrictions on visitors to the hospital and is urging visitors to stay home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The restrictions come about as the nation fights its way through the worst flu season in over a decade. Little Company of Mary continues to experience an influx of patients having the flu and flu-like symptoms. Last week, the hospital’s emergency room was put on bypass.
Until further notice, the following visitor restrictions are in effect:
- Only two visitors per patient are allowed at any one time.
- Children under the age of 18 are not permitted in patient areas.
- The Family Birth Center and Pediatric Units are restricting siblings from visiting as these young patients are at greater risk of complications due to the flu.
While the temporary changes to the hospital’s visitor policies may inconvenience some, Jane Sullivan, the chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services said it was in everyone’s best interests.
“ We're committed to ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors and staff during flu season and especially during this unusual flu season," Sullivan, R.N., BSN., M.S., said in a press release. “We ask that if you are planning to visit a patient and feel ill with any type of upper respiratory problem that you stay at home and delay your visit to keep our patients and staff safe.”
Doctors are also asking patients who come to the emergency room with flu-like symptoms and can’t see their primary care physician to make use of available disposable surgical masks and hand sanitizer to minimize the spread of germs, the hospital said.
If you're visiting a patient at another hospital and have flu-like symptoms, stay home.
To combat the spread of infection, healthcare workers advise:
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or sleeve. Please do not visit patients if you are sick.
- Frequent and thorough hand washing.
- Stay home from work, school or general public if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and pains, or other symptoms like nausea or vomiting sometimes associated with influenza.
- Avoiding people exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness.
READ MORE ON THE FLU: