Rise in flu infections prompts Duke hospitals to restrict visitors

From staff reportsDecember 26, 2012 

— Due to a sharp rise in influenza infections throughout the Triangle, all Duke University Health System hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers will temporarily restrict patient visitations, effective Wednesday afternoon.

Visitors to hospital and ambulatory surgery patients will be limited to immediate family or designated caregivers age 18 and older, and who have no fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms, according to hospital spokeswoman Sarah Avery.

The restrictions are part of a multi-step approach to protect patients and prevent the spread of influenza at Duke University Hospital, Durham Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals, as well as the Duke Ambulatory Surgical Center and the James E. Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center.

Temporary initiatives include:

• Patients may receive no more than two adult visitors at one time.

• Children under 18 are not permitted to visit hospitals or wards without prior approval from healthcare providers and for special circumstances.

• Visitors are urged to perform hand washing frequently, including when entering and leaving the building. Foam dispensers are available throughout the buildings, and are effective against influenza virus.

• Visitors with fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms should remain home.

• Emergency rooms, urgent care centers and clinics will seek opportunities to physically segregate potential flu patients if facility designs allow.

The restrictions are temporary and will be reviewed as the state’s influenza outbreak abates, Avery said.

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