a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 597.4 

Guest: Dr. Gregory Poland, Prof. Med., Mayo Medical School 

Topic: Flu vaccine saves lives

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Health care workers...get a flu shot...coming up... 

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NEMA: Between 60 and 80 thousand people die each year of flu and related afflictions...many of them elderly. Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Medical School says health care workers help spread the disease... 

POLAND: They are bringing the flu into the facility. They have patients get infected with it, or if a patient gets infected through some other route, they are carrying the virus, patient to patient. And by health care workers in long term care facility, we're talking about the receptionist, the dietary worker, the physical therapist...not so much just doctors and nurses.  

NEMA: Dr. Poland says many of these deaths can be prevented... 

POLAND: If health care workers who are employed in long term care facilities, get flu vaccine...there's as much as a 60% decrease in the death rate among the residents, and past surveys have shown that only about 25 -30% of health care workers who work in long term care facilities actually get the vaccine.  

NEMA: Dr. Poland says with more health care workers immunized, more lives will be saved. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.