Report: Many hospitals not prepared for swine flu

Nurses at more than one-fourth of hospitals in nine states report that their hospitals aren't doing enough to isolate existing swine flu patients, according to a new survey. That's one of several problems hospitals are likely to encounter when dealing with a cresting swine flu epidemic, according to a report by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

The CNA/NNOC survey, which surveyed nurses at 190 U.S. healthcare facilities, found that nurses at 15 percent of hospitals don't have access to appropriate respirator masks. At almost one-fifth of hospitals, the masks were appropriate but not "fitted" to make sure they protected health workers properly. And at 40 percent of hospitals, nurses are expected to re-use masks, a practice that runs counter to CDC guidelines.

Such infection control issues are already leading to the spread of the H1N1 virus among health workers. At 18 percent of the hospitals surveyed, nurses said their colleagues had become infected with the virus.

To learn more about the study:
- read this UPI piece

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