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News Release

Visiting an expecting or new mom, newborn or pediatric patient?

October 27, 2009

In keeping with a commitment to patient safety, Mercy is restricting visitors in order to minimize potential patient exposure to illness—especially Novel H1N1—which has had the greatest impact on young children (including newborns), new moms and women who are pregnant.

No more than two visitors (grandparents, other family member, friends, co-workers, etc.) at a time is being highly encouraged among these high-risk patients. Visitors under the age of 18 (including siblings of a newborn) will not be allowed in patient care areas at Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines and Mercy Medical Center–West Lakes. Visitors should refrain from visiting if they have had any of the following flu-like symptoms in the past seven days:

  • Fever*
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Occasional diarrhea or vomiting

*It’s important to note that some people with flu will not have a fever.

Newborns receiving care in Mercy’s Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are extremely vulnerable to many viruses, including Novel H1N1.  Mercy’s NICU has traditionally restricted visitors during flu season. Currently, visitors younger than 18 are not allowed (including siblings of the newborn) and every NICU visitor is being screened for flu-like symptoms. Anyone exhibiting symptoms will not be allowed to visit.

Exceptions may be made for cases involving critically-ill patients or end-of-life situations.

Visitors should wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel before entering and exiting patient rooms to help decrease the spread of illness.

Contact Gregg Lagan
Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

cell 515-490-6636


1111 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 (515) 247-3121
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