Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Something Good from Swine Flu

I happened to enter my hospital through the main entrance for the first time in weeks and walked straight into several signs warning everyone about extra precautions due to swine flu. Signs remarkably like this one.

Reading, don't visit if you have fevers, aches, chills, cough etc. Further, as staff of the hospital we have gotten multiple emails saying that if you have any of the above symptoms, you are to go to employee health and get swabbed to see if you have swine flu before you can work. The staying away from work if you have a cough, cold, chills etc., I get. The idea that we are to get screened and if it isn't swine flu you can work. That I don't get. But alas, baby steps right. baby steps.

I have made it clear that I find all of this swine flu hysteria a litte rediculous, but there may be some good messages coming out of it. I work at a Children's Hospital taking care of critically ill babies. Viruses that cause the common cold in adults and healthy, older children can be deadly to my patients. It seems like almost every year, we have some parent visit their child with a runny nose and wind up spreading their virus to their child and others. These same viruses that can cause severe respiratory issues and can be deadly to former preterm babies, babies with congenital heart disease, etc. and not even to mention all of the patients in this hospital getting chemotherapy. There are a hundred reasons to screen visitors before allowing them to come into the hospital and if swine flu is what has finally gotten this done. I'm OK with that. I just hope that people will continue to be vigilant when this hysteria has passed and realize how much broader the threat is to medically fragile babies and children.

Please think about these things before visiting the medically fragile, whether in the hospital or not. Thanks


Anonymous said...

came upon your blog from Moriahs page, and I think you are so funny, and right on. Love the issues you tackle with ease. Just as a side note, I had a stomach virus when I Delivered my 4th daughter (full term), and she ended up getting it at 8days old. This small stomach virus that I had nearly cost her her life, and has given her life long issues to deal with. My stomach virus gave her myocarditis, a virus that attacked her heart and put her in the ICU for 3 mos with septic shock and multi-systom organ failure. This now in turn left her with dilated cardiomyopothy with Congestive heart failure. WE have dealt with these issues all because I had the stomach flu. makes you think twice about viruses!! Thanks for posting this!

Lisa said...


I am so sorry about your daughter and the complications she has had. Yes viruses can be nasty to babies but they are everywhere. I do hope this current craziness will help make people more aware of spreading their colds because there is nothing you could have done differently.