January 5, 2013: The St Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) is asking for
help from visitors to reduce the risk of spreading illness within the Hospital.
There is a significant amount of illness in the community and a large number of
patients with respiratory illnesses are being treated in the STEGH Emergency Department.
Many of these patients, and other patients admitted to hospital, have tested positive
for Influenza A, as well as other respiratory viruses.
At this time the Hospital is not in an outbreak situation, however they are stepping
up precautions to help limit the spread of illness.
"It is essential we do everything possible to prevent the spread of illness, and
avoid an outbreak situation in our facility," says Karen Davies, STEGH Vice President.
"And we are asking for our visitors to help us by being diligent in their hand hygiene
and delaying their visit if they are unwell."
To minimize the spread of infection, and for the safety of the patients, staff and
other visitors in the Hospital, visitors are reminded to follow these steps:
- Delay your visit if you are feeling unwell
- Clean your hands as you enter and leave the patient's bedside - each and every time.
- Put on a mask, gown and gloves if entering a room with isolation precautions posted
- If you become ill while here, put on a mask, end your visit, and go home and get
- If visiting a patient in isolation, please do not travel to other areas of the hospital.
- Use the liquid hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building. Careful hand
hygiene is critical to manage the spread of infection.
"We are confident we are doing everything possible to manage this very busy flu
and cold season and to protect our patients, staff and visitors," states Davies.
"Our staff are well trained to identify trends immediately and step up precautions,
which are often put in place even before a diagnosis is made, based on the patients'
symptoms. We have found the sooner precautions are in place, the better control
we have over reducing the potential for spread to other areas of the Hospital."