By Robbie McKay Lincoln News • March 14, 2019
MILLINOCKET – With cold and flu season running at its peak, Millinocket Regional Hospital issued warnings this week to the public in the region.
Mary K. Martin, MRH VP of Quality and Clinical Support, released information on Monday detailing the need for extra preventative measures during this time and the steps MRH would be taking implement them.
“This week we are seeing a sharp increase in influenza cases,” she said. “To assure continued safety for our patients, visitors and employees, we will begin a few additional measures immediately,” she said. During this period, MRH is allowing only two visitors per patient in the hospital at any one time, and they must be age 12 and older. Children are very vulnerable to the flu, and because of their proximity to their peers in classrooms, the virus can easily spread. Martin said this safety measure is only temporary.
“We understand the importance of family in a patient’s healing process,” said Martin. “We have instituted this as a temporary measure only, and we will return to our normal policy as soon as the risk of influenza transmission has decreased. Communication will be sent when the visitation limitation has been lifted,” she said.
Martin said that special cases may need different guidelines and that those instances would be addressed on a case by case basis with department managers.
The hospital is also stressing the need for people who have had flu-like symptoms in the last 48 hours to return only after they have been symptom-free for two days. In addition, MRH is urging the increased use of proper hygiene during this time such as frequent hand washing and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow.
MRH encourages anyone who has the flu to stay home and recover.
“Although most people can stay home to recover without seeing a healthcare provider, it is possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu,” Martin said.
She said that if they develop symptoms that include dehydration, trouble breathing, getting better then relapsing, or another major change in condition, they should seek medical attention.
About Millinocket Regional Hospital
Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital nestled at the base of Baxter State Park that provides vital healthcare services to those who live, work and play in the Katahdin Region. Beyond the friendly staff and award-winning patient care, MRH provides an impressive range of specialty and general services; with a recent expansion resulting in the addition of eight new specialties and a Walk-In Care facility. In 2018, MRH was awarded the Press Ganey ‘Guardian of Excellence Award’ for exceptional patient experience; a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement for hospitals who consistently perform within the top 5%. Providing jobs to approximately 250 people, MRH is the largest employer in the Katahdin Region and a crucial economic driver within its community. For more information, please visit www.mrhme.org or www.facebook.com/MillinocketRegionalHospital