Beginning Monday, October 12, visitation for inpatients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will be restricted to immediate family members 12 years of age and older, provided they are flu-free (no fever with cough or cold). Visitation to the Neonatal Intensive Care and Bone Marrow Transplant units has already been restricted to patients/guardians and grandparents only for about four weeks, and will remain in place.
While Nationwide Children’s Hospital maintains a philosophy of family centered care and usually encourage siblings of any age to visit inpatients if the siblings are free of colds or other illnesses, there is evidence that children under 12 years of age are more likely to carry and spread viruses. Because the Central Ohio area is experiencing higher than usual levels of influenza at this time of year and a high number of inpatient admissions, and because many hospitalized patients are at higher risk if they are exposed to influenza and respiratory illnesses, the hospital has determined it is necessary to implement these visitor restrictions at this time.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital normally implements visitor restrictions to some degree during each influenza season. The hospital will continue to monitor the spread of influenza this season and expand its visitor restrictions if necessary. Additional H1N1 information is available at www.nationwidechildrens.org/h1n1.