Douglas County H1N1 updates
Jeff Novorr, Lawrence Memorial Hospital vice president, said two people have been hospitalized at LMH since Aug. 23 with confirmed cases of swine flu.
Novorr gave an update on the hospital’s plans and actions concerning the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, during LMH’s monthly Board of Trustee meeting this morning.
Besides the two hospitalizations, he said seven people had been hospitalized with swine flu symptoms, but the cases were not confirmed.
Meanwhile, LMH received 500 doses of the H1N1 vaccine and will begin offering them Friday morning to staff who are in direct contact with patients. They are encouraging staff to get the vaccine and will be tracking if they don’t receive it.
"We are tracking individuals who do not get the vaccine as a result of a Joint Commission, our accrediting body, requirement that requires us to get validation from anyone who chooses not to get the vaccine. No one is required to get the vaccine as a condition of employment, and the information we collect is used strictly for meeting accreditation requirements," Novorr said.
The hospital also has been working with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department on plans for distributing the vaccine to the public. Novorr said 17 nurses had volunteered to help with the clinics and another 13 were on a waiting list to help.
The hospital has a pandemic committee that meets on a regular basis. Novorr said LMH is prepared to handle an influx of patients and has ample supplies.
LMH also is encouraging staff members to stay home if sick and to not return to work until the fever has been gone for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
“It’s a continually evolving process,” he said.