Woman with sick mom says hospital visitor policies are too strict


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — Having a loved one in the hospital can be tough, and not being able to visit them during their stay can make things difficult for families. This is why Cassie Thompson is asking a local hospital to rethink its policies.

Hospitals across Northwest Arkansas have visitation restrictions in place to protect patients and staff amid the pandemic.

“I was not allowed in and I couldn’t pass the two double entrance doors. I just watched her go through those doors and wondered if I was going to see her again,” said Thompson.

Thompson’s mom was diagnosed with an illness back in July. She has ended up at Washington Regional on various occasions and at times for several days but because of the coronavirus crisis Thompson is not allowed to visit.

“Nursing homes are allowing visitors and people can gather in hundreds at Walmart, Lowes you name it. Schools are about to reopen and I feel like having one family member there… I just don’t understand.”

According to Washington Regional’s current visitor policies, Thompson would be called in if her mom was in critical condition or receiving end of life care. All visitors also have to go through a health screening.

Northwest Health and Mercy hospitals have similar policies in place at this time.

Thompson said she is heartbroken every time she has to bring her mom to the hospital.

“I definitely feel for myself, like having my husband, my children, my parents or just a familiar face would definitely help me fight to get better.”

A spokesperson for Washington Regional said administrators review the visitor policy on a regular basis and understands the difficulties caused by the limitations on visitations.

The hospital released this statement saying

“hospitalized patients are amongst the most vulnerable population and stringent safety guidelines were put in place to protect staff, patients and the community, and to ensure there is an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff despite global shortages.”

“My heart goes out to other families that did not get to bring their family member home and did not make it to the hospital in time to say goodbye because they couldn’t be there.”

Washington Regional said it will continue doing everything it can to help patients communicate via phone calls and video chats.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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