Vail hospital luncheon covered infection prevention |

Vail hospital luncheon covered infection prevention

Betty Ann Woodland
Vail, CO Colorado
Vail Daily photoVail society: Heather Gilmartin, Dr. Chip Woodland and Anne Smith

VAIL, Colorado –Heather Gilmartin, Vail Valley Medical Center Nurse Epidemiologist, spoke to two groups last week at Community Trustee Luncheons. The topics included the flu and infection control which have been on everyone’s minds. The flu and vaccinations are such hot topics that we almost burned the room down talking about it. (As Gilmartin spoke, a mishap with a sterno flame caused the tablecloths and rug to catch on fire. After a few heated minutes we got it put out.)

Gilmartin had a way of making infectious disease and infection control interesting and exciting. We were all treated to stories of how germs are spread and the hospital’s intrepid measures to keep germs at bay. The bottom line is that VVMC has high marks for infection control; it is a very clean and safe hospital.

One of the most important things I took away was the effectiveness of simply washing your hands often with warm soap and water, using hand sanitizer, keeping your hands away from your face and basic common sense precautions like avoiding close contact with sick people. Cover your coughs when you are ill and if you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.

Even with the most ardent of precautions some of us will still get the flu. Emergency warning signs that would require someone to seek urgent medical care include, in children, difficulty breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not interacting and fever with a rash. In adults, watch for shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and confusion.

Special thanks go out to the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail and the Eagle Best Western for hosting the Community Trustee Luncheons.

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