SEATTLE -- Hospitals across Washington are stepping up plans to protect their most vulnerable patients. Virtually all hospitals are urging sick visitors to stay away and some are restricting access to children from some areas of the hospital.
Doctors at Bellevue's Overlake Hospital Medical Center are offering more protection to their pregnant patients.?In an unprecedented step, Overlake Hospital is making sure all women who are pre-registered to deliver at their hospital are being offered a free H1N1 vaccine.
Dr. Kristin Graham, Chairman of the OB-GYN clinic at Overlake Hospital, says that's because pregnant women are more susceptible to the swine flu. "We know that these patients are at very high risk, and we want to offer the vaccine in an efficient manner so that they can get the vaccine as soon as it's available," said Dr. Graham.
Overlake is still allowing visitors to the hospital, but they have posted new signs to give those visitors pause, to make sure they aren't jeopardizing the most vulnerable patients.
"If people are sick, if they're coughing, if they have a fever we're going to ask that they not come and visit at this time," said Dr. Graham.
A spokesperson for Public Health of Seattle and King County says representatives from hospitals all across King County plan on gathering together in order to explore a uniform policy when it comes to visitors and swine flu.