(Marinette, Wis.) – As the flu season is progressing, Bay Area Medical Center is asking the public to limit visits to the hospital.
According to Craig Jestila, BAMC’s Director of Clinical Quality, "We ask visitors to remember that people who are in the hospital are sick or recovering and that patients need long periods to rest or to participate in procedures or therapies. Catching the flu or other infectious illness can have a devastating effect on anyone who is already ill. Our patients are also more susceptible to develop pneumonia due to lower resistance to infection.”
According Marra, the hospital is restricting visits from visitors who show symptoms of the flu including body aches, chills, cough, headache runny nose and sore throat. In addition BAMC is asking that visitors not bring anyone younger than 16 years of age into the hospital unless the youth is coming for treatment.
"We are certainly seeing a rise in patients with the flu as well as pneumonia in both our emergency room and on our patient floors," Marra said. "For the comfort and well being of these patients we are asking the public to cooperate with us as we take care of them."
Here are some more suggestions about being a visitor at the hospital during this time:
· Does the patient want visitors? People are generally at their worst in the hospital and would prefer rest and privacy. Please ask first. The average patient stays in the hospital for approximately three days. It may be more appropriate to visit the patient after he/she leaves the hospital.
· Absolutely avoid visiting if you are ill. If you know you have been exposed to illness, you could spread disease to others. If your visit is absolutely necessary, please stop by our registrations desk for a mask.
· Ask about our rules for visiting. If your friend or loved one has or may have a disease spread by skin-to-skin contact, by droplet or through the air, your contact may be limited. Ask the health care staff for guidance.
· Make your visit short. Your prolonged presence may be tiring for the patient. Remember the hospital is a place for people to recover from a serious illness and rest is one of the most important ingredients to recovery.