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100+ Nurses to Rally in SF Wed. to Demand Stronger Swine Flu Safety Protections: California Hospitals Remain Unprepared Despite First Nurse Death
Date:8/4/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 100 registered nurses from across California will rally in San Francisco Wednesday to protest gaps by California hospitals in safety preparation for the H1N1 pandemic, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee announced today.

The nurses will protest the recent firing by UCSF of an RN who blew the whistle on unsafe patient care involving swine flu at their facility, as well as wider problems that a CNA/NNOC preliminary survey of California hospitals has uncovered, including systemic problems with safety gear for nurses and infection control procedures for patients, as well as an emerging pattern of retribution against nurses who speak out about unsafe care.

    WHAT: 100+ nurses in scrubs and masks protest swine flu dangers
    WHEN: Wednesday, August 5, 12:30 p.m.
    WHERE: UCSF Campus, main entrance to medical center, 505 Parnassus,
           San Francisco

The protest follows the first death of a nurse due to swine flu last week, a 51-year-old marathon runner in excellent health, who worked in a Sacramento hospital, as well as a General Accounting Office report to Congress this week that warned the U.S. is still not adequately prepared for a worse outbreak of H1N1 this fall.

"Hospitals across California--and possibly the entire country--are putting registered nurses and other front-line caregivers at risk by inadequately preparing for this pandemic," said CNA/NNOC co-president Deborah Burger, RN.

"If hospitals do not take urgent precautions to reverse this lack of preparation, we may see our health care facilities become vectors for infections. That is especially worrisome for hospital patients who already have compromised immune systems, and our nurses who may be unable to respond because of their own sickness," Burger said.

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SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
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