Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) plans to implement visitor restrictions beginning Monday, January 9, 2017, as a result of the current flu season.
Individuals under the age of 18 will not be permitted in patient care and waiting areas during the flu season. Visitors may be asked to provide identification. An exception will be made for anyone under 18 who is a patient’s parent or for persons receiving services.
The intent of these annual restrictions is to protect patients, families and staff from unnecessary exposure to the flu virus.
YRMC is also asking individuals to refrain from visiting patients if they are experiencing fever, cough, aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, runny or stuffy nose or flu-like symptoms.
The flu season often peaks in January and February, a time when Yuma also seen an influx in population and YRMC traditionally sees patient numbers increase.
“The health of YRMC’s patients is our number-one priority,” said Deborah Aders, Chief Nursing Officer for YRMC. “We know that visitor restrictions really are the hospital’s best opportunity each flu season to reduce the number of flu cases among patients, visitors and our staff. We thank community members for their understanding and cooperation. Together, we can help make a difference this flu season.”
To even better assure this protection of community health, YRMC introduced a mandatory flu vaccination policy for all employees this year. Visitors to YRMC may notice masks being worn during the flu season by employees who were unable to receive their flu vaccination. This measure aims to protect unvaccinated healthcare workers from respiratory illness and to help reduce exposure to our patients and visitors.
“Flu” refers to illness caused by a number of different influenza viruses including A, B and H1N1. It can cause a range of symptoms, such as the ones listed above, and effects range from mild to severe. Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at greater risk for serious complications. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), and persons who live in facilities like nursing homes.
The best way to prevent the flu and serious complications from influenza is to receive your annual vaccination, practice good cough etiquette and hand hygiene. Wash your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Rinse well under running water and dry with a clean towel or air dry them. If you already have the flu, the best prevention is to stay home.