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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


April 23, 2013- DMC HARPER-HUTZEL HOST

DMC Harper University Hospital and Hutzel Women’s Hospital is hosting its Annual Community Baby Shower.  The Baby Shower, hosted by WWJ 950 Health Reporter Sean Lee, will take place Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., at the former Hutzel Women’s Hospital building located at 4707 St. Antoine in the Auditorium.

 

Thousands of babies are born at DMC Hutzel Women’s Hospital each year.  Unfortunately, many of the women who deliver at Hutzel, for various reasons, do not have the infant items that they critically need for their newborns at the time of birth.   This event will benefit future newborns who are delivered at Hutzel Hospital who but-for this program, would not have essential new baby items, such as clothing, infant car seats, diapers and bottles.

 

Hutzel Hospital has hosted this annual event for the past 21-years.  Hundreds of people attend each year, their donations help employees of Hutzel Hospital to address the needs of thousands of new mothers and their newborns.  It is truly a labor of love that brings together a cross section of business, ecumenical, community, political, media and grass roots organizations - all united in their collective community goal to assist mothers and newborns in need. Items provided to these new mothers through community events like this, creates the opportunity for newborns to have a positive start that they need at a very critical time.

 

At the Baby Shower, guests can expect a toddler fashion show featuring kids who were once in the NIC unit at Hutzel, conversation with friends and neighbors, gifts, light refreshments and the opportunity to help those less fortunate.

 

For more information, please visit www.hutzel.org/babyshower


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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