10/20/2013 21:04 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 18:58 EST

B.C. hospital bans flowers and plants for staffer's safety

Plants and flowers have been banned from a Vancouver Island hospital for medical reasons.

Ellen Brown, site director of the West Coast General Hospital, in Port Alberni, B.C., said a staff member has been having allergic reactions, which have become life threatening over the past few months.

"Because it's evolving, we figured in order to keep her safe we needed to at least, for now, ban all plants, until she's stabilized in her allergies," she said.

The 55-bed hospital has posted notices at all its entrances and has notified all local florists about the ban.

Brown said visitors have been respecting the ban, which she hopes will be lifted once the staff member's specific allergies are identified.

"We will be able to have some plants in, we hope, at that point."