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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


May 17, 2013- DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital Names Vice President, Patient Care Services

Alta A. Gordon, BSN, MBA, MS, has been named Vice President for Patient Care Services at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, it was announced today by President Iris A. Taylor, PhD, RN. 

 

“Alta Gordon’s clinical experience, leadership skills and personal passion for nursing made her the unanimous choice for the position,” Dr. Taylor commented in making the announcement.  “We are proud to add her to our team.”  

 

Ms. Gordon has held prior leadership positions at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center in Trenton, St. Joseph Mercy – Oakland in Pontiac, at Henry Ford Health System’s main hospital in Detroit and at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan, completed a master’s degree in health services administration, also from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Walsh College.  She is pursuing a doctorate in nursing at the University of Detroit. 

 

During her 12-year career at the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ms. Gordon advanced through five leadership roles, including positions in the cardiac intensive care unit.  She was the director of critical care/medical/surgical services at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Illinois and then advanced to the position of associate administrator at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.  She served as the director of nursing practice and systems at St. Joseph Mercy – Oakland and most recently, she was director of Oakwood Southshore Medical Center. Among her career accomplishments are leading a hospital to achieve Level II Trauma Center status; overseeing the transition to electronic medical records; taking a hospital on its Magnet journey; and winning the “Governor’s Award of Excellence” for improving patient care in hospital, surgical and emergency department settings.  She has published articles in RN Excellence and Nursing Management.  She was the subject of a special report in the Detroit Free Press in 1997.

 

Ms. Gordon was the 2005 winner of the “Nightingale Award for Nursing,” a highly respected award.  She served ten years in the United States Army Reserves, the Army Nursing Corp, with local and overseas assignments, serving as officer in charge, chief finance officer and medical education instructor. 


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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