Bluewater Health works diligently all year long to prevent the spread of infections in hospital. During the winter season, it’s even more important to protect our patients from additional illness such as; flu, other respiratory infections (referred together as influenza-like illness) and gastrointestinal illness.
When you come to the hospital, you too have an important role to play in preventing the spread of infections. Patients, families and visitors are asked to be aware of the following information when coming to the hospital.
Know the signs of influenza-like illness:
- Active respiratory illness with cough and/or fever.
- AND one or more of: sore throat, joint pain, muscle pain, or weakness.
Know the signs of gastrointestinal illness (sometimes referred to as stomach flu):
- Sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Usually resolves itself within 24-48 hours
Both Influenza-like and gastro intestinal illnesses are very easy and quick to spread from person to person, so it is important to abide by the following recommendations:
Do not come to the hospital to visit if you are sick
- Families and visitors who are sick are asked to not come to the hospital to visit hospitalized patients.
- If you are sick and have an appointment at the hospital, call the department in advance for instructions.
- If you are sick and come in for an appointment, when entering the facility please clean your hands, put on a mask and tell the nurse or receptionist that you are not well.
- If you come in for an appointment, bring only one (1) other support person with you.
- When visiting the hospital, cough and sneeze into your arm or use a tissue. Immediately discard used tissues into waste receptacles and clean your hands.
Get your flu vaccine every year
The flu vaccine is still considered by the experts to be the most effective way of preventing influenza.
Clean your hands
Hand cleaning is your best defence against infection. It is important to clean your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Wall mounted alcohol hand sanitizers are available throughout our two hospitals. Clean your hands when:
- You enter or exit the hospital
- Your hands are visibly dirty
- Before you eat or drink
- After you use the washroom
- After you cough, sneeze or blow your nose
- After you handle garbage
Know what to expect when you come to the hospital. Signs are posted at all hospital entrances directing patients who have arrived with respiratory symptoms to clean their hands and put on a mask.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are available throughout the hospitals so patients, families and visitors can clean their hands often. Instructions for proper hand hygiene are posted and our volunteers stationed at welcome desks offer verbal reminders.
Bluewater Health has implemented the following Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MoHLTC) guidelines in our efforts to protect our patients and staff:
- All patients that come for services at Bluewater Health are screened for influenza-like illness.
- Any patient with symptoms of influenza-like illness is treated as a possible influenza case as follows:
- Will be asked to wear a mask.
- May be asked to have a swab taken for testing.
- May be sent home with self-care instructions or admitted based on the severity of illness.
- Patients who are placed in ‘precautions’ due to influenza-like illness must remain in precautions until cleared by an Infection Control Practitioner.
Your continued cooperation during the respiratory illness season is appreciated.
If you have flu-like symptoms, please call Telehealth at 866-797-0000. For local public health information, please visit Lambton Public Health's website.
Patient & Family Information Handouts
- Antibiotic Resistance - Questions & Answers [PDF]
- C. difficile - Patient & Family Information [PDF]
- Extended Spectrum Bet-Lactamase - Patient & Family Information [PDF]
- Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus - Patient & Family Information [PDF]
- Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus - Patient & Family Information [PDF]
Infection Prevention & Control
Level 7, Russell Building
Bluewater Health, Sarnia
89 Norman Street, Sarnia, Ontario N7T 6S3
Hours & Contact
Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:00pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday, Statutory Holidays
Telephone: 519-464-4400, Ext. 5253