2 Jun 2008

New hospital rules in American Samoa to control noise and infection

11:19 am on 2 June 2008

The LBJ Medical Center in American Samoa is defending a new policy to control patient visitors.

Effective from today, family members who take care of relatives in hospital will need clearance from the admitting physician and be issued with a badge before being allowed into the wards.

It is customary for inpatients to have family members helping as caregivers while they are hospitalized.

But the hospital is now establishing a caregiver and visitors policy to maintain a safe environment and control infection.

LBJ's legal counsel, Terry Lovelace says that in response to patient complaints about noise and movement after visiting hours end, the hospital needed to implement some enforcement measures.

He says visiting hours will be strictly enforced, and only one designated care giver can stay with the patient after visiting hours.

Mr Lovelace says there have been problems with five or six people staying in a patient's room.