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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


June 13, 2014- DMC selected for White House program supporting health IT apprenticeships

The Detroit Medical Center is one of only nine hospital systems selected nationwide to participate in a federally initiated pilot project to provide apprenticeships in health information technology and information management.

As a leader in health information technology, DMC was encouraged to apply for the program after impressing regional executives during a National Health Policy Forum site visit in March.

The program is part of Vice President Joe Biden's White House jobs and skills initiative that matches high school and community college students with high growth/high need jobs. Experts predict demand for health informatics professionals will grow by 20% through 2018, and need an additional 50,000 skilled IT workers over the next few years. Three other health systems in southeast Michigan are also participating in the program.

"It is a great honor to be chosen by the White House as one of only nine sites across the U.S. to participate in this initiative. It highlights that the DMC is a leader in health information technology and is using this technology to improve patient care and safety," said Lisa M. Flynn, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Information Officer, DMC. "We are very excited about the opportunity."

More than nine years ago, through visionary leadership, Detroit Medical Center emerged as an early adopter of Electronic Medical Records. While other systems tinkered with the idea, DMC accepted the challenge, realizing that healthcare IT was the future. Since then, DMC has continued to lead the industry in EMR transformation using electronic collaboration and document review to a nearly unsurpassed degree in support of patient safety and care. Through 100% medication scanning, electronic physician orders, and the newest initiative, meaningful use, DMC remains committed to advancing the healthcare landscape.

"The benefit to DMC of this opportunity is that we will attract many young and talented applicants and may eventually recruit them to join our healthcare IT team," CMIO Flynn said. "The greater benefit is that this assures our community that not only are we dedicated to using the latest technology to enhance quality care, but we are a resource for career opportunities for our local high school and community college students in the growing field of healthcare IT.


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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