Posted on November 20, 2018
Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) is asking members of the community, as it does every year, to please remember the important role they play in protecting both patients and other visitors and hospital staff from contracting or spreading viruses including Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.
The RSV season is upon us, and as a precautionary measure, PRMC is putting visitation restrictions in place for their young visitors under the age of 12 in certain select areas. For the immediate future, the Medical Center is not allowing children under the age of 12 to visit the PRMC Special Care Nursery and Pediatrics. Siblings under 12 may still visit PRMC’s Mother/Baby and Labor and Delivery units, but only after a health screen is completed by nurses on those units prior to entry. Children with upper respiratory infections or other symptoms of RSV will not be permitted to visit.
Infants are most vulnerable and RSV is, in fact, the leading cause of babies under the age of 12 months being admitted to American hospitals. It’s easily spread through touching, hugging, on toys, clothing and bedding. Precautions include regular hand hygiene, avoiding crowds of young children and by keeping toys, clothes, blankets and sheets clean.
“Everyone understands this may cause an inconvenience, but we must continuously safeguard everyone visiting here or staying with us for care,” said Karen Mihalik, RN, Infection Preventionist. “That includes taking extra precautions to protect our young visitors themselves from possibly contracting or spreading a virus at Peninsula Regional. This is a common, yearly practice for us during the RSV season.”
Symptoms include a cough that doesn’t stop, fast or troubled breathing, a bluish color around the mouth or fingernails and a fever, especially above 100.4 degrees in infants under 3 months of age. Parents are encouraged to contact their pediatrician if concerned about possible symptoms of RSV.
“We welcome visitors and understand their importance in the recovery of friends and loved ones, but we will take all necessary steps to prevent the contracting or spreading of viruses,” added Mihalik. PRMC encourages our visitors under 12 to send a greeting using the Ecard option on our website at www.peninsula.org or to use any of the personal correspondence options like Skype or Facetime while the RSV visitation restrictions are in place.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center expects these visitation changes to be in place through March, and will keep Delmarva residents updated on any changes in visitation during the current RSV season. Additional information on RSV may be obtained on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.