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LHSC and St. Joseph’s announce new temporary visiting guidelines


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For the most up to date LHSC visitor information, please visit the visitor guidelines section of the corporate website.

For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2009

(LONDON, Ontario) – In response to the on-going H1N1 flu pandemic, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London (St. Joseph’s) are implementing new visiting guidelines to help protect the safety of patients and staff.

As of today, the following guidelines will be used at both organizations:

Inpatients (acute care)
Acute care inpatients will be allowed no more than one visitor at a time, at any point during the day. In addition, no visitors under the age of 16 will be permitted in the hospital.

At St. Joseph’s, these guidelines apply to all patients at the St. Joseph’s Hospital site.

At LHSC, these guidelines apply to Victoria Hospital, University Hospital, Children’s Hospital and South Street Hospital.

Adult and children outpatients arriving for clinics, day procedures or diagnostic procedures at all LHSC and St. Joseph’s sites are allowed one escort over the age of 16. Please refrain from bringing anyone under the age of 16 to appointments unless absolutely necessary.

“These inpatient and outpatient guidelines are temporary, and may change as the H1N1 pandemic progresses,” said Gillian Kernaghan, Integrated Vice President of Infection Prevention and Control. “Right now it is important to protect the health and well-being of our staff and the community.”

Both LHSC and St. Joseph’s continue to see an increase in patients coming to the Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centre, as well as an increase in patients diagnosed with influenza-like illness (ILI). Staff members are prioritizing patients based on level of illness, and members of the public are asked to exercise patience, as they could face long wait times.

To help ease this situation, the public is asked to please avoid coming to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre if at all possible, and to utilize the following advice on where and when to seek medical attention.

Consult a family doctor or walk in clinic if you are feeling ill and are:
• less than 5 years of age
• 65 years of age and over
• pregnant or had a baby in the past 4 weeks
• very overweight

Or if you have the following medical conditions:
• lung problems, including asthma
• heart problems
• diabetes
• cancer
• problems with immune system caused by disease or medications, including HIV
• kidney disease
• problems with blood, such as anemia
• neurologic problems
• are less than 18 years of age and taking daily aspirin

Visit an Emergency Department or call 911 if you have:
• Chest pain
• Worsening shortness of breath
• Blue lips
• Inability to keep fluids down and symptoms of dehydration
• Confusion, disorientation, seizures, difficulty waking
• Fever that does not go away or comes back after four to five days

LHSC and St. Joseph’s would also like to remind the public to visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit clinics in the community to receive their H1N1 flu vaccination. LHSC and St. Jospeh’s are not running H1N1 vaccination clinics for members of the public.

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. More than 400,000 patients annually receive care from close to 6,000 physicians and staff at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.

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For more information contact:

Cory Habermehl

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

London Health Sciences Centre

519 685-8500 ext. 58738


Dahlia Reich

Communication and Public Affairs

St. Joseph’s Health Care, London
519 646-6100 ext. 65294



After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 or St. Joseph’s Switchboard at 519-646-6000 and ask to page the communicator-on-call.

Visit the LHSC Media web site at http://www.lhsc.on.ca/About_Us/LHSC/Media_Room/