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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


May 8, 2013- Four DMC Hospitals Earn Top Grades from the 2013 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Scores - Again!

Excellence in key performance areas and grade of “A” for hospital safety pushed these hospitals to the top

   

Detroit, Michigan, May 8 2013 -- Four Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Hospitals - DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, DMC Harper University & Hutzel Women’s Hospitals, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital and DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital –have received "A" rankings from the Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Scores for 2013, making DMC Hospitals among the safest in the country.  Hospital Safety Scores are calculated under the guidance of an eight-member Leapfrog Blue Ribbon expert panel of patient safety experts who used publicly available hospital safety data.  U.S. hospitals were evaluated on preventable patient injuries, medication errors and infections, and each was assigned a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or F reflecting on how safe hospitals are for patients.

These scores empower patients to make informed choices about where they and their family will seek medical care and are meant to significantly reduce the 180,000 annual deaths attributed to hospital errors by publicly recognizing safety and exposing harm.


"The DMC hospitals have a long tradition of innovation and quality care. However, over the past several years, there has been even more emphasis and energy placed on quality and safety - it is the foundation of everything we do in healthcare. Every person at the DMC is committed to the highest quality and safest hospitals, including the governing boards, leadership, medical staff, and front line employees," said DMC CEO Joseph Mullany.

The DMC has focused on several key initiatives to help drive quality improvement. The first is the electronic medical record. DMC hospitals are among the most advanced in the country for their health information technology. With Computerized Physician Order Entry and bar code scanning, medication errors have been reduced significantly. Quality and safety dashboards are included in daily workflow through the EMR, which allows staff to focus on quality in "real time."
Electronic records also allow for care to move away from memory based practice with improved standardization, and quick access to data. Other initiatives have included a successful focus on reducing hospital acquired infections, a system-wide approach to intensive care, and more quality and safety training.

 

"Being recognized by the Leapfrog group is a tremendous honor. The "leaps" to improve healthcare quality, including intensivists in intensive care units, a commitment to national best safe practices, computerized order entry, and improved efficiency, are priorities at all DMC hospitals,” states Dr. Suzanne White, DMC Chief Medical Officer.  “Recognition that our hospitals are among the safest in the nation, demonstrates proof of our commitment."

This is the fifth year in a row DMC has earned top honors from the Leapfrog Group.


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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