Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fauquier Hospital Restricts Visitors to Family Birthing Center

In response to the rapid and pervasive spread of the H1N1 virus this flu season, Fauquier Hospital will temporarily restrict visitors to its Family Birthing Center as of October 14. No visitors under 18 years old, except siblings, will be permitted in the fourth-floor birthing unit.

Research has shown that expectant mothers, women who have recently given birth, and infants are particularly at risk for serious illness from flu. The
Centers for Disease Control has reported that 76 children have died of flu-related illnesses in the U.S. since April. Twenty-nine of these have been reported since August 30. The CDC also reports, that “19 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported this week; 16 of these deaths were confirmed 2009 H1N1 and 3 were … likely to be 2009 H1N1.”

Addressing risks to pregnant women, the CDC reports: “Severe illnesses among pregnant woman and infants have been reported in this outbreak.”

Bethann Thomas, director of the Family Birthing Center, said, “Fauquier Hospital is dedicated to keeping all of its patients safe and healthy, and is placing restrictions on visitors to protect its most vulnerable populations. Those who come to the hospital to visit new moms will be asked to call into the unit from an in-house phone before being admitted.”

Thomas, who is expecting a baby in the next couple of weeks, added, “Right now, my baby’s father is sick with the flu, so if I go into labor while he is still ill, he won’t be with me in the hospital. We’ll find a way to use Skype or some other technology for him to be a part of the delivery, but we want to make sure the baby and I are safe from the flu.”

Rodger Baker, CEO and president of Fauquier Health, emphasized, “We encourage all visitors to be aware of the health risks to our new mothers and infants. Anyone – child or adult – who is not feeling well should refrain from visiting the hospital, particularly the Family Birthing Center. We thank residents for their understanding during this pandemic.”

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