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No scents make good sense at OSMH

3/13/2013 12:00:00 AM

(March 13, 2013 - Orillia, ON) –  With warmer temperatures and Easter celebrations in the not too distant future, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is reminding everyone of its minimal fragrance policy, particularly in regards to flowers, and personal care products. 


“Spring provides a wake-up call for our senses which is welcomed by most but can be a challenge to others, especially those with heightened sensitivities to scent,” said Catherine Gardner, OSMH Manager of Occupational Health & Safety and Infection Prevention & Control.


Gardner points out that hospitals are becoming increasingly vigilant when it comes to fragrance because of the harm it can cause to vulnerable patients like those who are allergic or asthmatic, or even to staff.  The smallest amount of certain fragrances or scents can trigger a reaction that could incapacitate someone or require them to avoid normal activities.


Many personal care products are available in unscented or fragrance free alternatives which the hospital encourages people to consider before coming into the facility. 


OSMH also works closely with local florists to identify appropriate choices and encourage customers purchasing flowers destined for the hospital to consider those with minimal scent like daisies or carnations.  Flowers to avoid include freesias, hyacinth, lavenders, lilacs, peonies and lilies.  In addition, the Hospital permits balloons that are latex free.


While providing specific parameters to a minimal fragrance policy can be difficult, Gardner says the goal is clear, “maintaining an environment that protects the health of patients, visitors and health care staff”.


Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is located in Orillia, Ontario (just 114 kilometres north of Toronto) and serves more than 440,000 residents in North Simcoe Muskoka. OSMH provides a comprehensive range of programs and services, including medical, surgical and emergency care, dialysis, obstetrical and paediatric care, oncology, complex continuing care, mental health and rehabilitation services. While it remains Orillia’s community hospital, OSMH has a new role as a regional healthcare centre. For more information please visit our website at www.osmh.on.ca.




For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:


Terry Dyni

Director, Community Relations



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