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Pets now get to visit Chicago hospital patients. But is this safe?

When hospital patients are recovering from a serious injury, illness, surgery or other health complication, they often need the support of their loved ones in addition to receiving care and treatment from hospital workers. Hospital patients may feel more at ease when they have a loved one by their side to advocate for their safety and to simply keep them company while they are ill or in pain. But even though patients may be able to visit with family members and friends, they may still long to cuddle with their pets.

For years patients have been asking to see their pets while they remain hospitalized, but many hospitals refuse to allow such visitors due to the potential risks that are associated with allowing animals inside hospitals. However, patients at Rush University Medical Center have recently received some good news regarding their furry friends. According to reports, the hospital is the first in the Chicago area to adopt a formal policy for allowing patients to see their pets while they are in the hospital.

Many hospital patients may feel uplifted when they are able to visit with their pets. However, not all pets will be allowed to visit their owners at Rush University Medical Center. In order to minimize risks to patients, pets must meet certain requirements before they will be allowed inside the hospital.

The hospital’s formal policy states that only dogs and cats will be able to visit patients. All pets must be properly groomed and bathed before being allowed inside the hospital. And all pets must have their vaccinations up-to-date. In addition to several other rules, patients must also get approval from their doctors to have their pets visit them while they are in the hospital.

Pets may certainly provide comfort to those who are ill or injured, but hospitals must also make sure patient safety remains a top priority when it comes to allowing patients’ furry friends inside hospitals and hospital rooms.

Source: 5 NBC Chicago, “Chicago hospital allows visiting hours for pets,” Feb. 19, 2013

  • Our Chicago medical malpractice firm provides counsel to hospital patients and their families who have been harmed by nursing negligence, doctors’ errors and other incidents of hospital negligence. Hospitals have a responsibility to keep patients safe, but sometimes this responsibility goes ignored, and sometimes hospitals fail to address and fix potential hazards before patients are harmed. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Chicago hospital negligence lawyer page.


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