Group says hospitals not prepared to protect nurses from H1N1
The group said the findings take on greater urgency after the recent death of a nurse in Sacramento, Calif., due to H1N1, as well as a Government Accountability Office report to Congress that warned the U.S. is still not adequately prepared for a worse outbreak this fall.
At least a third of the hospitals surveyed have had infected patients. Nurses in more than 10 percent of the hospitals, the study found, did not have access to the recommended N-95 respirator masks. In addition, in more than a quarter of the hospitals, nurses had been expected to reuse masks, which health officials said is a very risky practice.
The survey also found that in 20 percent of the hospitals surveyed, nurses said proper infection control procedures are not being followed. More than a third of the hospitals, according to respondents, have failed to properly explain their H1N1 policies to the nursing staff.
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September 14, 2009
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