INDIANAPOLIS (January 17, 2014)—Indiana is experiencing a bad flu season. Indiana University Health is taking the precautionary measure of limiting patient visitors to its hospitals in Indianapolis and surrounding areas to protect patients, families and team members from unnecessary potential exposure to the flu virus.
This temporary policy goes into effect on:
- Monday, Jan. 20, at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health
- Wednesday, Jan. 22, at IU Health hospitals including:
- IU Health North Hospital
- IU Health Methodist Hospital
- IU Health Saxony Hospital
- IU Health University Hospital
- IU Health West Hospital
- IU Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
IU Health is also asking families to limit the number of relatives and friends accompanying patients to the emergency room, outpatient surgery waiting rooms and procedure areas, and primary care and specialist physician offices.
“Patient safety is IU Health’s top priority,” said Dr. Doug Webb, medical director of infection control for IU Health. “Indiana is already experiencing a bad flu season as evidenced by the number of young adults that have required hospitalization, respiratory support and ICU care and, sadly, the number of deaths in otherwise healthy adults. IU Health recognizes the role that family plays but we must also protect our hospitalized patients and team members from this virulent strain of virus, so this is a proactive and logical step to take.”
The temporary visitor restrictions mean:
- Patient visitors are limited to spouses/domestic partners, parents /legal guardians, grandparents and spiritual counselors.
- Siblings and visitors under 18 years of age will not be allowed to visit patients.
- Visitors who have flu-like symptoms will not be allowed.
- Flu-like symptoms include fever, chills, headache, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and, sometimes, diarrhea and nausea occurs in children. Symptoms usually start about 1 – 4 days after being exposed and last 2 – 7 days.
- Mask will be available to patients with flu-like symptoms.
- Guests will be asked to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer often while in the building.
Other IU Health facilities across the state have also announced temporary restrictions on visitors or are preparing to do so in hopes of preventing the spread of the flu. We strongly recommend that you check with the IU Health hospital you plan to visit.