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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


May 14, 2013- DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan to Reduce Hunger Gap Affecting Detroit Area Kids

The end of the school year often marks the end of a guaranteed meal for almost half of Detroit’s children. In Southeast Michigan, more than 300,000 free or reduced fee, breakfasts and lunches are served daily during the school year. The DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council is leading a community effort to provide area children with a consistent daily meal over summer recess. Their Fourth Annual Cereal Drive kicks off on May 31 – June 7, 2013. 

“As one of the best Children’s hospitals in the country, we do not just treat sick or injured children, we are also in the business of keeping them healthy,” said Herman B. Gray, M.D., president of DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “Our nurses and staff really embrace this drive that highlights the important connection between nutrition and healthy kids.”

Studies show one in every four American children lives in a food insecure household where breakfast is not guaranteed. For some Detroit area children that number is one in two, making the hunger gap more serious in Southeast Michigan. 

The Cereal Drive began in June 2010 and has grown every year. Last year, Gleaners Community Food Bank needed four semi-trucks to transport the donations collected during the drive to their distribution center. 

“The Metro-Detroit communities really come together and use this opportunity to directly make a contribution and a difference in their neighborhoods. This effort really transcends city boundaries and is one problem with serious health consequences that we can make a huge dent in as a community,” said Wendi Tague, DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council Chair.

Donations of cereal will be collected at the following locations May 31 – June 7, 2013 starting at 8 a.m. Closing times vary by location. Click here for a list of cereal drop off locations: www.childrensdmc.org/cerealdrive.
Driving directions and phone numbers for the drop off locations can be found at www.childrensdmc.org/locations.

DeWayne Wells, president of Gleaners said, “The DMC Children’s Hospital Cereal Drive has become an important source of nutritious breakfast food for children and families served by the food bank. Cereal is always in high demand, and that demand increases when school lets out and school breakfast and lunch programs end. The cereal provided by this drive will help us alleviate the strain parents feel when they try to make up for those meals for their kids.”

The Cereal Drive is part of a national effort, started by the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, to end childhood hunger. Ten other large children’s hospitals across the United States are hosting drives in their cities during the same timeframe. Cereal is a popular food item that experts say can easily address the hunger gap.


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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