Across the nation, hospitals and health systems are seeing earlier and more serious cases of the flu and metro Detroit is no exception. Throughout the region, hospitals are reporting flu levels well above normal. Sadly, as other health systems have experienced, Oakwood can now confirm the death of a patient who did test positive for the flu, along with other serious health conditions. We cannot say definitively that the patient died of the flu.
Over the past several weeks, there has been a significant increase in patients with flu and flu-like symptoms at Oakwood's four hospital emergency departments. We have been seeing an increase in those patients over the last two months and numerous admissions as a result.
Oakwood has a multi-level plan in place to prevent the flu from spreading among patients, visitors and employees. Precautions and protections against the flu for all individuals include the following:
- Oakwood expects all employees to get a flu shot at the beginning of the season
- Providing easily accessible alcohol based hand sanitizers throughout the hospital
- Limiting risk and exposure to patients and employees by keeping an eye out for sick visitors
- Minimizing face-to-face and close contact with people who are coughing or appear otherwise ill
- Providing flu caddies at each acute care site that include masks, gloves, tissues and other alcohol-based products
- Providing private rooms and cohorting patients with similar symptoms
- Extensive and frequent communication efforts with the community and staff about general awareness and precautions
- Ensuring staff and patients are protected with access to the appropriate masks, gloves and gowns to stop any droplets from getting into the air that may contain the flu
- Extended and weekend hours at several urgent care and healthcare clinics across the Oakwood system
Symptoms of the flu include coughing and difficulty breathing, a high fever and body aches. Patients with flu-like symptoms are encouraged to wash their hands, stay home if they're sick and get plenty of rest to prevent spread to others. If symptoms persist, contact a physician. Prevention is key and it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine.