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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


June 11, 2013- 2013-14 Best Children's Hospitals

Children’s Hospital of Michigan is among the best in the country in pediatric specialties according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. The Children’s Hospital of Michigan is nationally ranked in seven of the 10 evaluated categories: Cancer (#41), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#28), Nephrology (#41), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#23), Orthopedics (#37), Pulmonology (#38), and Urology (#17).

 

The rankings highlight the top 50 U.S. hospitals in each of these pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. Eighty-seven hospitals ranked in at least one of the 10 specialties.

 

“We are honored and humbled to have the Children’s Hospital of Michigan recognized again as one of America’s best hospitals for children. This would not be possible without the relentless dedication, commitment and expertise of our entire health care team who care for the children and families we serve,” says Children’s Hospital of Michigan Chief Executive Officer Herman Gray, M.D.

 

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of sick children find the best medical care available. The rankings offer families an exclusive look at quality-related information at the individual hospital level.

 

Each hospital’s reputation among doctors was only a small part of what U.S. News factored into its rankings. Three-quarters of each hospital’s score was determined through an analysis of patient outcomes and data on the structural resources each hospital has for pediatric care. To gather data, U.S. News used two surveys: a clinical questionnaire sent to 179 pediatric hospitals and, for the reputational assessment, a survey of 150 pediatric specialists and subspecialists in each specialty. The 1,500 physicians were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty, setting aside location and expense.

The rankings are available now online at http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/pediatric-rankings and will be published in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2014 guidebook, available beginning in August.


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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