Kiwi Polemicist

July 11, 2009

• Swine flu stupidity: Hospital visits restricted over swine flu fears

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , , , , — Kiwi Polemicist @ 2:10 pm

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Stuff is reporting that Middlemore Hospital has placed restrictions on visits in an attempt to reduce the spread of swine flu:

Counties Manukau District Health Board said today there would be no more than two visitors per patient in wards, and only one visitor per patient in the emergency department. The restrictions also applied to the Manukau Surgical Centre.

The board’s chief medical officer Don Mackie told NZPA the hospital brought in the restrictions to reduce the risk patient exposure to the flu.

It’s a worry when hospital staff are so idiotic as to come up with a policy like this. I’ve seen large families (10-30) visiting people in hospital, and they just gather outside the ward and send in their members two by two: the patients get the same exposure to bugs. Then there’s all the staff bringing bugs into the hospital and sharing them around, as well as taking bugs from one patient to another. Hospitals are unhealthy places and there’s precious little that can be done about it short of having every patient in isolation with full barrier nursing. Actually, that’s not a bad idea: everyone would get a lot more peace and quiet, which would be good for healing.

I’m no epidemiologist, but as far as I can see this policy is a total waste of time because only isolation (quarantine) will prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It Is Important To Be Seen To Be Doing Something so the hospital is doing something: something useless.

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