Viruses lead to hospital visitor restrictions

By Brittany Wise bwise@civitasmedia.com

January 17, 2014

Voluntary visitor restrictions have been placed into effect at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center, effective immediately.

A Friday afternoon release from TLRMC cited high influenza, pneumonia and RSV activity within the area as the reason for the restrictions, and requested that people experiencing any symptoms associated with these illnesses to refrain from visiting the medical center.

The restrictions extend to all patient care areas of the hospital and, according to a TLRMC release on Friday afternoon, these measures are intended to “protect visitors, patients and employees during this time of increased illnesses.”

“Our number one goal is to protect the health and safety of our patients,many of whom are already vulnerable and susceptible to more serious illnesses,” said Sandy Blair, RN, Infection Prevention/Employee Health Director at TLRMC.

She went on to say, “While visits from family and friends are an important part of the healing process, during this particular time we especially want to help limit the amount of exposure patients and visitors have to the viruses.”

According to Blair, the influenza (flu) virus appears to be affecting children and young adults more than it has in past years, so the restrictions are helping to protect groups typically considered very healthy as well as those that are high-risk.

Signs have been posted at hospital entrances, inside elevators, and in public areas throughout the hospital which read:

“We are currently experiencing influenza/pneumonia/RSV activity in our community. Help us protect our patients. Please do not visit the hospital if you are sick with any of the following: Fever, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Runny nose, Sore throat or Cough.

All visitors should use alcohol hand gel before and after visiting. It is recommended that children under the age of 18 years old not be allowed in patient rooms.

Thank you for helping protect our patients.”

Hospital spokesperson Bill Oldham, Director of Planning and Marketing at TLRMC, explained that the hospital will “continuously review the restrictions and lift them as soon as possible.”