Hospital Infections are a Big Risk for Patients - Here are 3 Ways to Protect Yourself

Most of us don’t wake up one morning and decide that we would like to spend the next few days at the hospital. We usually have no choice. Some medical condition or ailment causes us to take that necessary trip to the hospital.

While hospitals are places that provide necessary medical care, they are also breeding grounds for bacteria. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipated that there would be 2 million people in 2010, who acquired hospital infections. The CDC also estimated that 100,000 would die.

You can take steps to reduce the likelihood of acquiring an infection during your hospital stay. Below are some precautionary measures you (or a loved one) can take:

  1. Ensure proper hand hygiene. This doesn’t just apply to the patient or visitors. Nurses and doctors should also be reminded to sanitize their hands. According to researchers, hand hygiene falls short at many hospitals. In fact, best practices are followed only about 20 to 30 percent of the time.
  2. The items in the hospital room must be disinfected. Remote controls and call buttons are prime culprits of germs. Take a look at these items, plus other objects that are commonly touched in the hospital room. If they don’t appear to have been disinfected or if you are not sure, contact a nurse.
  3. Know why and how long the urinary catheter will be used. The catheter is one of the main sources of hospital infections. You therefore have a right to know why it is being used and for how long. Don’t hesitate to ask the nurse or doctor your questions.

Learn more about hospital safety in our article, How Safe Are Hospitals? Study Reveals Shocking Information Regarding Patient Safety.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in the hospital from a medical error or infection, contact an experienced Orford medical malpractice attorney. Our New Hampshire medical malpractice attorneys will review your case, free of charge. Contact us today at (603) 556-4148. We represent clients in Western New Hampshire and Eastern Vermont.

Be sure to order a FREE copy of our book, The Essential Guide to Your Vermont or New Hampshire Accident Case.

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