Backlash over Phoebe Putney's strict visitation rules - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Backlash over Phoebe Putney's strict visitation rules

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There's some backlash over Phoebe Putney Hospital's strict new visitation rules.

The hospital is trying minimize the spread of swine flu.

But one family told WALB they were kept away from their critically ill loved one.

They wonder if some patients will end up dying alone.

"I have no idea what his condition is at this moment," said Teri Ayotte, Patient's Daughter.

That's what Ayotte told us Friday afternoon, her father was taken to Phoebe Memorial Hospital after a heart attack.

She said her mom was told to leave the hospital because of strict visitation rules to prevent the spread of swine flu.

"There's no one in the waiting room that someone can go get for him real quick," said Ayotte.

The hospital told us they would work with people who are primary caregivers.

"We have always made allowances for additional family for care giving needs," Dr. Doug Patten, Phoebe Putney Hospital.

"I'm not seeing that my mother is not seeing that when she was kicked out of the CCU," Her mother is the primary care giver. "She was told she couldn't see him," said Ayotte.

She understands the precautions the hospital is taking.

"We'll sign a waver that we're responsible for our own health we'll wear masks but don't tell us we can't see him," said Ayotte.

Children aren't allowed to visit patients at all; they have a higher risk of exposure and transmission. Teri's sister is 13-years-old.

"I asked them specifically about my little sister the whole situation they told me no." she said.

"We've bent the rules for specific trials and troubles," said Dr. Patten.

"I can't get to anyone higher up, I can't get pass the switch board at the front desk, how many husbands or wives are going to die today alone," said Ayotte.

She told me she's speaking out so patients who are extremely ill don't spend their final moments alone.

"I understand the rule but it's being taken a little too far, I don't want people not to be able to see their loved ones, I want to see my daddy," said Ayotte.

After we called Phoebe, a hospital representative apologized to the family.

Ayotte's mother was allowed to visit but was strongly urged not to stay long.

The family is still upset that the 13-year-old won't be allowed to see her father.

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