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.
Â 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.
Â 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.
Â 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:
Â — Ask your visitors to use antibacterial hand gel and don’t let them sit on your bed.
Â — Ask nurses and doctors if they could also use sanitizing hand gel before touching you.
Â — Ask your doctor if their stethoscope and other instruments are clean, and ask them to use an alcohol-wipe to ensure sanitation.
Â — Buy a shower gel with the ingredient “chlorhexidine” (four percent) to use at home on the day of your surgery.
Â — Ask your surgeon what his/her rate of infection is. Choose a surgeon with a low infection rate, if possible.
Â — 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.
Â 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.