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Gilbert Hospital Prepares for Flu Season
Date:9/2/2008

GILBERT, Ariz., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gilbert Hospital is preparing for the upcoming flu season in anticipation of a busier than typical influenza epidemic. Training, extra precautions, robust cleaning and disinfecting of surface areas and the ability to call in additional staff as needed are part of the preparations being undertaken at Gilbert Hospital. Additionally, the hospital is offering flu shots for employees and may extend the shot coverage to employee family members, depending of the availability of this year's vaccine.

"Influenza [flu] can very well be extremely dangerous, especially for children under 2 and adults older than 65," explained Dr. Tim Johns, Gilbert Hospital Medical Director and Founder. "...complications that can arise from the flu result in more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year around the country and, even more astonishing, more than 36,000 people die each year due to direct association with the flu," continued Johns.

Gilbert Hospital itself sees a significant increase in patient volume during the flu season, which begins in September and can run through late April or early May. "Even though we have more patients presenting with complications from the flu, we are prepared each year to meet the increased demand. This year will be no different," said Gilbert Hospital CEO David S. Wanger. "We are preparing this year for even more patients so we are ensuring our staffing levels and treatment protocols are in place well in advance of the bug. Our Door to Doc in 31 Minutes guarantee will remain in place and we anticipate accomplishing that goal more than 98 percent of the time," said Wanger.

The single most effective way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated. Both the CDC and Gilbert Hospital also recommend following preventative measures in order to help prevent respiratory illness such as the flu:

-- Avoid close contact (when sick)

-- Stay home when you are sick

-- Cover your mouth and nose (when coughing or sneezing)

-- Clean your hands

-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

About Gilbert Hospital

Located at 5656 S. Power Rd., a half mile south of Ray Rd., Gilbert Hospital (http://www.gilberter.com) is licensed as an, acute-care general hospital with 24/7 services including emergency; expanded in-patient including ICU; diagnostic imaging; pharmacy; laboratory; and surgery services. Designated as a Level II trauma center, Gilbert Hospital provides health care services to the communities located throughout the east and southeast valley. Initial evaluations of all patients by a Board certified emergency physician begins within 31 minutes of arrival.

For more information about this release or about Gilbert Hospital, contact:

Mr. Drew Markell, 480-840-3837 or 480-529-8259


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SOURCE Gilbert Hospital
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