June 10, 2009

Winnipeg Health Region Asking Public to Restrict Unnecessary Visits to Patients in Hospitals

Move to protect patients and reduce the spread of flu-like illnesses

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority today issued a request to the public to restrict their visits to patients in hospital in order to protect both patients and visitors from the spread of infection.

"Being in a hospital is a stressful situation for patients, their family and friends," Jan Currie, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer said. "We know having visitors helps lessen the stress and makes the stay more pleasant, but we are asking the public to use their best judgment when deciding who should visit and how often."

In order to provide the safest environment for patients, families and staff, the region is asking the public to follow the following guidelines:

  • Stay home if you have been sick with a fever, cough, and / or body aches and tiredness in the past 7 days;

  • Try to limit the number of visitors in the patient room at any given time; in ICUs only two visitors should be in the patient room at any given time; and

  • Think carefully before bringing a child to the hospital for a visit. Children under 12 must be supervised at all times.

Once you have arrived for a visit, please remember to:

  • Wash your (and your children's) hands with the antimicrobial hand rinse gel provided by the door when entering and leaving the patient care unit;

  • Follow and respect any signs/special precautions listed on the door to the patient's room or given verbally to you by a nurse or other staff; and

  • Cover your mouth with the crook of your arm if you cough.

"It's important during times like this for people to use common sense," Currie said. "We know this may be inconvenient, but it is important for the health of our community. We thank you all for your cooperation as we work together to limit the spread of this disease."

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