|Flu Overflow Unit Opens at The Regional Medical Center
The Regional Medical Center recently opened a separate flu evaluation area to care for the increased numbers of patients with flu-like symptoms who are going to the Emergency Department.
“When patients come to the Emergency Department we are separating those patients with flu-like symptoms from those with other conditions,” said Lisa Goodlett, chief operating officer. “We have designated staff in a designated area to care for patients with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache and body aches.”
“This flu overflow unit was started to give special attention to patients with flu-like symptoms and to protect other Emergency Department patients by limiting their exposure to those with flu symptoms,” said Goodlett. She said that the unit will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. seven days a week as long as needed.
Director of Nursing Julia Yawn said both adults and children with flu-like symptoms can be evaluated and screened at RMC. Flu shots are not available in this Flu Overflow Unit. Medicines are prescribed as appropriate.
Yawn said that the Regional Medical Center Emergency Department has screened record numbers of patients with flu-like symptoms. “Patients are not only worried about seasonal flu, they are worried about the H1N1 swine flu virus. This special area for flu patients in the Emergency Department will help us serve all of our patients better,” she said.
Yawn noted that seasonal flu shots are currently available at doctors’ offices and at many pharmacies. She said that the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is expecting that H1N1 swine flu vaccinations will be available in mid to late October.
“In addition to getting the flu shots, we encourage the public to regularly wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers,” said Yawn. “Simple things like covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, avoiding large crowds during flu season, and getting your influenza immunization can also reduce the chances of getting the flu.”
For more information about H1N1 swine flu and seasonal flu, please see our web site or visit Flu.gov.