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Dear Colleagues,We're awash in information about H1N1 so I thought I'd give you a summary of how we're doing at UHN and what we're planning for in the coming weeks. I'll send out these summaries as often as I need to and I'll apologize in advance for the length of this one.Staff vaccination: Our campaign began on October 23 when we received our first supply of vaccine. As of Friday morning, 4,635 staff had received the vaccine and the carts will continue to roll until every staff member who wants the vaccine has received it. You'll recall that health care workers - that's all of us - are on the priority list established by the government. Why? Because it is important that we are healthy and here to care for patients - flu patients, cancer patients, transplant patients, neuro patients - well you get the idea. Flu will add to the number of patients we see but the other illnesses and conditions aren't going to take a rest because the flu is here. We need to be healthy so that we can continue to care for all of our patients.
And, a couple of other notes about vaccination:
Patients and H1N1
Across UHN we are very busy and have some hospitalized H1N1 patients. Our Emergency Departments are always busy and continue in that mode. Almost all people coming to the Emergency Departments with flu symptoms are seen and sent home to rest in bed which is what anyone should do with normal symptoms of the flu. We have some hospitalized flu patients and, with both Emergency and inpatients, we expect our numbers to rise in the next couple of weeks. We are tracking our numbers and have plans in place if we need to response to a sharp surge in any of these areas.
Many of you have been asked whether we are vaccinating patients and or are planning to vaccinate patients. Here are our plans:
I'll end by stating the obvious. This is a flu that we're dealing with and we see flu each and every year. We know how to treat it, we know what we can do to protect ourselves, we know where to get the most current information, and we're well on our way to ensuring that most of us will have been vaccinated against this particular strain. The people of UHN are responding as they always do with professionalism and a calm air of competence that makes me feel grateful to be able to lead such a group. I'd like to thank all of you but cannot close without singling out the staff and leadership of Occupational Health & Safety and Infection Prevention & Control. I thank those two groups on behalf of the whole of UHN.Bob