To maintain a safe and hygienic environment for patients, Qatar’s Women’s Hospital has asked visitors to avoid decorating patient rooms with balloons, vases, candles, posters, carpets and aquariums, among other items.
The advisory comes amid a growing trend in Qatar among some residents to pay companies large amounts of money to decorate the hospital rooms of new moms.
Last month, Al Raya reported that some people are paying up to QR10,000 ($2,746) to these decorators.
The practice was condemned by some residents as “squandering and wasting” money for the sake of keeping up fake appearances and high status, the newspaper stated.
However, others welcomed it, saying it was a way for parents to celebrate and express their joy for their newborn child, as long as they didn’t damage the hospital’s public property.
Addressing this trend, Ghislaine van den Born, assistant executive director for Support Services at the hospital, said in the statement:
“We strongly encourage the public to help us maintain a clean and safe environment for all the hospitals’ patients and visitors. We urge families to avoid spending large sums of money on employing decoration companies to decorate the hospital rooms, which does not comply with our infection control guidelines and measures and could cause damage to the patient’s rooms during installation.”
HMC said gifts should be limited to small boxes of chocolates or small bouquets of flowers to prevent the risk of transmitting infections, especially when visiting those with a weak immune system, like newborn babies and recovering mothers.
Dr. Huda Abdulla Hussein Saleh, a senior consultant for Quality and Safety at the hospital, added that large items and decorations could impede proper ventilation in patient rooms, and may be prohibited from being brought onto the premises.
“The hospital’s patient rooms and care units are designed in accordance with documented criteria and measures for infection control, in order to guarantee the safest care for our patients.”
The hospital also reminded patients to avoid contact with children, smokers or sick visitors who could spread infection.
Meanwhile, Dr. Zeina Saeed al-Mansori, clinical director of Operational Affairs at the Women’s Hospital, stressed the importance of hand hygiene, saying HMC provides hand sanitizers in patient rooms, hospital entrances and other prominent areas.
Electronic devices are also banned from some patients’ rooms, as they could interfere with the hospital’s electric system and life support equipment, as well as cause electrical malfunctions.
Visitors should also avoid placing gifts and decorations in hospital corridors, which could impede the movement of people and health professionals trying to enter rooms in case of an emergency.