Hospitals are places for healing and hope. When required, most of us go to our local hospital with some expectation of being cured. Whether we go for a diagnosis or treatment of a disease, trauma or corrective procedure, we all hope for healing and a speedy recovery.
In years past, most patients hospitalized with the flu expected to recover after only a few days of treatment, but this year, healthcare professionals are battling a powerful and deadly strain of flu that is proving to be resistant to many of the treatments that doctors prescribe. With increasing alarm, the media is reporting how this deadly virus is affecting not only on the elderly, young or those with chronic health conditions, but patients who would normally be able to fight off the effects of the flu. Since December, ICUs across the country have been overwhelmed with influenza patients, many of whom were perfectly healthy and in their prime only a few days prior to admission. What many people don’t realize is that the flu season has been extended by doctors and is still a very real problem right now.
Over the past few weeks, I have provided live therapeutic music for several patients battling the flu. Tragically, two patients (otherwise healthy, middle aged adults) lost their battle. Family members told me their loved ones felt fine only days before being admitted. At the onset of symptoms, they assumed the virus would simply run its course. Instead, both patients developed pneumonia, then quickly became septic. Doctors and nurses fought to turn the tide against the deadly infection and fulfill the patients’ hope for recovery. Tragically, even with all our medical and scientific advances, these patients succumbed to their illness. This year’s flu is a killer!!
Our message to everyone: If you have flu symptoms or a lingering cold, a fever, chills, headache or malaise; GO TO YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM! Don’t waste time going to a clinic to see if you have the flu. Don’t try to tuff it out. As one nurse posted last week on social media, “If you feel too bad to go to the hospital, dial 911!” If you develop a slight fever and feel achy and tired, SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY, THEN STAY HOME. Avoid public places such as grocery stores, churches or schools, where you could infect others. The best defense against catching this flu is to WASH YOUR HANDS many times per day! Wash your hands after you touch door knobs, hand rails or other surfaces that other people touch. Keep hand sanitizer near by and use it generously. If you start feeling bad and develop a fever, act quickly. Don’t assume that your illness will pass in a few days or so and don’t assume that flu season is over.
Please don’t make the fatal mistakes that dozens across the country made this past week alone. Hospitals are a place for healing and hope. But we all need to be well informed and take the required precautions to give our local healthcare professionals every possible advantage in fighting this year’s influenza outbreak. Don’t be a victim!