Should fresh flowers be allowed in hospitals?

Purestock | ThinkStock + Scrubs

Purestock | ThinkStock + Scrubs

A beautiful comfort to patients or a disease spreading hazard — what is the place of a bouquet of flowers in a hospital?

TIME magazine reported five years ago that there was a growing trend of U.K. hospitals banning fresh cut flowers. A new study reveals that today, nine in 10 U.K. hospitals ban fresh cut flowers. Additionally, the report finds that three out of four Britons opposed the bans.

The original reasons for the ban stemmed from the thought that the flowers (and the water they are placed in) can spread disease, and that they also can aggravate allergies. While the original concerns were traced back to studies from as early as the 1970s, later studies found there was little to no bacterial risk from flowers.

However, what the studies from the past five years do find is that while flowers may not be a physical risk to patients, they can be a major problem for nurses.

As one nurse said of flowers in the aforementioned TIME article: “I hate them… My staff don’t have time to change stagnant water; spillage is responsible for slips, trips and falls; and they cause hay fever.”

So what are your thoughts? Should banning flowers in hospitals become a trend on this side of the pond? What do you think about flowers in patients’ rooms? Let us know in the comments.

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One Response to Should fresh flowers be allowed in hospitals?

  1. jennifer h

    In the hospital I work in, flowers are banned in icu only. While I don’t have a problem with flowers in general, I believe that certain types of flowers pose more of a problem than others. To me cala lillies are the worst!!! Several of the nurses I with are allergic to them, and must either be sent home or to a different floor of the hospital once a patient has them in their room. I wish more friends and family would understand that there are so many better gifts to send someone in the hospital! A robe, magazines or books, etc. A good majority of the time patients don’t even take their flowers home with them.