Sunday, January 24, 2016

How To Protect Yourself From Hospital Infections

People check into hospitals to overcome illness, but these supposedly sterile environments can also expose you to many germs. Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect your health if you happen to land in the hospital: 1. Research your chosen hospital. Educate yourself about laws in your state designed to create safer, healthier hospitals (, then find out what your hospital has done to control infections. Your state’s health department can advise where you can find specific hospital statistics. 2. Practice appropriate hand washing. Ask that your doctors, nurses, and visitors wash their hands before touching you or items in your room. Gloves offer a false sense of security and can be contaminated if put on by germ-infested hands. 3. Eat from clean plates. Consume food that has only touched the clean plate on which it is delivered. Don’t set food on a meal tray or any other surface. 4. Avoid contact with sick people. This includes not just other patients but also family and friends who may be ill. 5. Keep tubes to a minimum. Catheters, IVs, and other tubes offer a direct line into your body. If possible, skip them; but also ask to have all tubes removed as soon as possible after surgery. 6. Go home. The longer you stay in the hospital after surgery, the more likely you are to develop an infection. Before being admitted, work with your doctor to create a recovery plan you can tackle right away in order to get out of the hospital as soon as possible. Find more information about staying safe at

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