People go to hospitals to get better — not to become sick all over again from a new illness. Unfortunately, hospital- spread infections can force a patient to walk out with a different problem than what they came in with. Known as “nosocomial” infections (or hospital-acquired infections), these are bacteria and viruses inside the hospital that pose an especially high risk to patients.
As you may already know, there are many types of germs that are harmless to healthy individuals. However, once the immune system is compromised, these germs can get inside a person’s system and cause a lot of trouble.
Hospitals have a high amount of visitors who may not feel sick, even though they are carrying germs. This means that a lot of germs can get into the hospital, where patients are often undergoing surgery or other procedures that have left their immune systems open to infection.
For this reason, it’s very important that you take certain precautions to lower your risk of contracting an infection while staying in a hospital. Keep the following tips in mind:
— Ask your visitors to use antibacterial hand gel and don’t let them sit on your bed.
— Ask nurses and doctors if they could also use sanitizing hand gel before touching you.
— Ask your doctor if their stethoscope and other instruments are clean, and ask them to use an alcohol-wipe to ensure sanitation.
— Buy a shower gel with the ingredient “chlorhexidine” (four percent) to use at home on the day of your surgery.
— Ask your surgeon what his/her rate of infection is. Choose a surgeon with a low infection rate, if possible.
— When entering a hospital, make sure you use the provided hand-sanitizing stations. If the hospital doesn’t have any, bring your own alcohol-based hand gel. You can also get this product in great scents such as melon and berry.
It never hurts to take a few extra precautions before entering a hospital. Keep these tips in mind if you are about to go in for a stay.