A new patient visitation policy at Inova Fairfax Hospital bans child visitors.
The policy states that only two people at a time can visit a friend or relative in the hospital's inpatient unit. It also says that visitors under the age of 18 will not be allowed in the facility.
Dr. Allen Morrison of Inova Fairfax says the new rule is designed to help cut the risk of H1N1 virus transmission.
"If you are a patient and an underage individual comes to visit, they could easily be incubating the virus," says Morrison. "Contact with the patient could cause a transmission event and that could significantly deteriorate their condition."
Edith Arias was on her way to visit a friend at Inova shortly before the restriction took effect. "On one point it's good for the safety of the patients, but then it's not good if they want to visit their parents or something," says Arias.
The policy carries execeptions for limited circumstances, such as visitors for patients receiving end-of-life care.
Elliott Francis reports...