DALLAS (Reuters) – When a Dallas hospital gets a hit from the flu this summer, they have to keep lights on and keep the doctors and nurses at work to make sure everyone stays safe.
The hospital in Glens Fall, a small community about 50 miles north of Dallas, received a scare from the H1N1 virus when a patient came down with pneumonia, which was confirmed as the flu.
The hospital, which received about 50 people from around the country and Canada, has to put on protective masks and put on hand sanitizer to help keep everyone safe.
A nurse from the hospital said the nurses have to wear gloves, masks, face shields, face coverings, face pads, goggles, and face masks to prevent infection.
The nurse said most people stay home on Monday because they’re on their own for the weekend.
A few people in the community have gotten the flu and it is not yet clear if it is related to the flu but the hospital has been very careful.
Dr. David Brown, who has been the head of the emergency department at the hospital since it opened in October, said he’s had to turn away people who don’t have flu symptoms and turn them away if they do.
He said the hospital does not ask people to leave because they might get sick and could spread the flu if they aren’t careful.
“It’s the worst kind of thing we can imagine,” he said.
Brown said some people have become ill because they didn’t wear gloves or face shields and others because they were too afraid to wear them.
He called the hospital’s safety team, which includes nurses, doctors, paramedics and emergency room staff, a tight-knit group of people who know each other and are all on the same page.
“They do their jobs very well and they do it with great care and a sense of urgency,” he added.
The nurse said the flu is spreading like wildfire in the small community and it’s very dangerous.
“The only thing that makes me worried is if I don’t get sick, I’m dead.
It’s so bad,” she said.
Brown said he worries about what happens when people don’t wear masks and gloves because there’s a chance that someone could get sick.
“If we do have an influenza pandemic and people aren’t wearing masks, then it’s going to be very bad for us and it will be really bad for our community,” he told Reuters.