In an effort to protect patients and staff from the flu, Scripps Health is putting in place a number of interim visitor restrictions at its five hospital campuses in San Diego County.
“With cases of H1N1 influenza rising quickly in the area, we are taking precautionary measures to limit the risk of infection in our hospitals,” said Scripps Chief Medical Officer James LaBelle, MD. “We ask that visitors follow these new guidelines so that we can maintain the safest possible environment for everyone.”
The following restrictions will go into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla.
- All visitors will be screened. Visitors displaying symptoms of flu-like illness will be asked to leave.
- Children age 14 and younger will not be allowed in the hospital unless they are patients receiving treatment or have appointments. This includes lobbies, dining facilities and common areas.
- Patients will be limited to a maximum of four visitors per day.
- Exceptions may be allowed by infection control and department supervisors for special circumstances.
Scripps physicians also are reminding patients that it’s not too late to get a flu shot. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent getting the flu. Other precautions include washing your hands often with soap and water; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and avoiding contact with sick people.
If you become sick, stay home from work and school to avoid infecting others. Check with your doctor to see if you should be treated with an antiviral drug.
Avoid the emergency room unless you are suffering from more serious flu symptoms, which include trouble breathing or shortness of breath; chest or abdominal pain or pressure; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting; flu symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a worse cough.
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.