February 6th, 2004

Beginning Monday, March 1, live plants and flowers will no longer be allowed in Great River Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The primary reasons for this change are:

• Flowers and plants may bring insects, fungi and germs into the environment that could further stress a patient’s immune system. This is of utmost concern for critically ill ICU patients, whose immune systems are already working hard to fight infection and heal damaged tissue.

• The hospital’s ICU rooms are often very crowded. Space at the bedside is limited and is frequently taken up by equipment and staff. There is often too little room for plants and flowers.

The hospital will still accept live flowers and plants delivered to the hospital for ICU patients. They will be taken to the unit’s waiting room, which is just outside of the ICU, and family members will be informed so they can take the plants or flowers home. Cards, non-Latex balloons and silk flowers are encouraged and can be displayed for the patient to see.