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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


February 6, 2013- Sinai-Grace docs spotlighted for Black History Month
DETROIT – February is Black History Month and DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital is proudly recognizing African American doctors who have followed family members into medicine. These doctors are a few of the many physicians at Sinai-Grace who continually provide excellent medical care to patients.

Dr. John R. Trotter II is a family practice physician, general surgeon and vice president of the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Trotter was inspired to enter medicine by his father, Dr. Johnny Ray Trotter, who taught him the value of hard work, perseverance and discipline. Dr. Trotter’s decision to become a doctor was sealed after receiving a stethoscope as a Christmas gift when he was just 5 years old.

Dr. Afzal Beemath, medical director of palliative medicine at Sinai-Grace and Harper University Hospital, was also inspired by his father. Born and raised in South Africa, Dr. Beemath was inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela to “stay in school,” which led him to a career in medicine. He hopes the high quality care provided by the Detroit Medical Center will be a driving force in turning around the city of Detroit.

Dr. Camille Blake, an internal medicine physician, comes from a family of eight physicians spanning three generations who have all served as her inspiration to enter the field. She knew from the moment she dissected a lamb’s heart in the fourth grade that she wanted to follow the footsteps of so many others in her family.

Dr. Jennifer Martin, an emergency medicine physician, was greatly influenced by her older sister to pursue a career in medicine. As a Detroit native, Dr. Martin understands the hardships that many individuals in the local community experience and hopes to inspire local children to dream big and believe they too can become a doctor, no matter what obstacles come before them.

Dr. Lisa Randon is a pediatrician and a Detroit native who was inspired by her parents to pursue a career in medicine. During Dr. Randon’s last year of medical school, her mother was treated for cancer at the DMC, and she was impressed by the high quality of care she received. She strives to always provide that same level of care to her patients. Dr. Randon feels that African American physicians are uniquely poised to address misconceptions as well as overcome cultural and societal barriers that prevent African Americans in the community from seeking necessary medical care.

Dr. John M. Barnwell is the chief of surgery and medical director of surgical oncology at Sinai-Grace. His fate as a surgeon was sealed the first time he observed his father perform an operation. But Dr. Barnwell was apprehensive at first, because his hands would shake when he was nervous. His father assured him that surgery was mostly about judgment, and by gaining knowledge, experience and confidence, he could cure his problem.

These physicians are only a few among a diverse team of experienced doctors at Sinai-Grace who serve the metro Detroit community and provide the highest level of care to their patients. To book an appointment with a Sinai-Grace physician, call (313) 966-4800.


WHAT IS H1N1 INFLUENZA?
H1N1 influenza is a respiratory disease that is caused by a type A influenza virus. The current H1N1 virus contains unique genes from pig and human influenza viruses and hence is called the “Novel H1N1 Influenza Virus”. This strain of flu germ spreads from human to human and can cause illness.



Does H1N1 INFLUENZA pose special risks for pregnant women?
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of catching H1N1 or seasonal flu. Pregnant patients with H1N1 infection have an increased risk of complications. Although influenza viruses do not infect the baby while in the uterus, the high fever and any complications caused by the flu can potentially be harmful to the baby.



WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN I TAKE TO PROTECT MYSELF AND MY UNBORN BABY?
The best way to protect yourself and your unborn baby is to have a vaccination (which is safe during pregnancy). You should also make sure you follow good hygiene practices including:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to use.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF H1N1 INFLUENZA?
The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and may include acute onset of:

  • Fever (greater than 100 F or 37.8 C)
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu.


WILL THE SYMPTOMS BE THE SAME IF I AM PREGNANT?
Yes, the symptoms of flu will be the same as in women who are not pregnant.




WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET SICK?
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home, limit contact with others, and call your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Treat any fever right away. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is the best treatment of fever in pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids.
  • Your doctor may test you for flu or will decide if you need medications to treat the flu.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash and cleanse your hands.
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or alcohol- based hand rub.
  • Do not go to work, school, or other public places while you are ill.
  • Avoid close contact with other people.
  • Get emergency medical care right away if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, purple or blue lips or skin, severe vomiting and are dehydrated and/or dizzy, unresponsive or confused.


IS IT OK TO BREAST FEED MY BABY IF I AM SICK?

  • Do not stop breastfeeding if you are ill. This will help protect your baby from infection.
  • Be careful not to cough or sneeze in the baby’s face, wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor might ask you to wear a mask to keep from spreading this new virus to your baby.
  • If you are too sick to breastfeed, pump and have someone give the expressed milk to your baby.


IS THERE A VACCINE FOR H1N1 INFLUENZA?
Yes, an H1N1 virus vaccine is expected to be available in mid- to late October 2009. The CDC recommends this vaccine for pregnant women when it first becomes available. This vaccine has been tested in pregnant women and found to be safe and effective.


REMEMBER: The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the H1N1 flu, therefore individuals are encouraged to get both types of vaccines.

 

 

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