Area hospitals to implement visitor restrictions to minimize illnesses – WHIO

Hospitals will implement visitor restrictions beginning Dec. 23 in an effort to minimize the spread of respiratory infections to hospital patients, employees and the community, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association Announced.

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The facilities impacted include places like Miami Valley Hospital, Kettering Medical Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals, GDAHA said.

“Due to the early and increased local presence of the seasonal flu virus, the region’s hospitals have opted to implement precautionary measures in order to best protect the health of their patients,” GDAHA said in a prepared statement. “The Dayton region has seen an increase in flu activity over the past two weeks.”

Since Dec. 1 there have been 30 hospitalizations in the region and an increase of 75 percent in outpatient cases.

The visitor restriction policy for area acute care hospitals is:

  • No visitation by anyone who is ill with respiratory symptoms including coughing, fever, chills, headache, vomiting, sore throat, muscle aches or diarrhea.
  • No visitation by anyone under the age of 14.

“We respectfully ask the public to follow these new guidelines during flu season, which lasts through March 2020,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, President & CEO of GDAHA.

Hackenbracht said the GDAHA Infection Control Committee will continue to meet weekly to review reported flu cases and flu-related hospitalizations to see if visitor restriction recommendations should be changed or modified.

“Children are particularly likely to carry viruses since they are heavily exposed in the school setting. With these guidelines, we hope to minimize exposure in the hospital,” Hackenbracht said.

There are medical necessities where treatment is important, and the visitation restrictions do not apply to children or adults in need of services.

GDAHA said there also are exceptions for special circumstances. 

 “The visitor restrictions are being implemented with the utmost sensitivity and respect to patients and their families,” Hackenbracht said. “Doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel will work with patients on a case-by-case basis to ensure that patients receive the support needed, especially if there is a situation where end of life may be a concern.”

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