15 Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Hospital Infections
- Ask the hospital staff and all visitors to clean their hands before treating or touching you.
- Avoid touching your hands to your mouth, and do not set food or utensils on furniture or bed sheets.
- Before your doctor uses a stethescope, ask that he/she wipe the flat surface with alcohol.
- If you need a catheter, inquire about the benefits of one that is antibiotic-impregnated or silver-chlorhexidine coated to reduce infections.
- If you need surgery, ask your surgeon about his/her rate of infection for various procedures.
- If you need surgery, shower or bathe daily with chlorhexidine soap beginning three to five days prior.
- If you need surgery, ask to be tested for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at least one week before you enter the hospital. This is a simple nasal swab test that can determine any extra precautions that may need to be taken to protect you from infection.
- If you need surgery, stop smoking as soon as possible. Patients who smoke are three times as likely to develop a surgical site infection.
- On the day of surgery, ask if you will need an antibiotic one hour before the first incision.
- On the day of surgery, ask your doctor about keeping you warm during surgery so that you can improve your resistence to infection.
If hair must be removed on the surgical site, ask that clippers be used instead of a razor.
Ask your doctor about monitoring your sugar levels (glucose) continuously during and after surgery - especially for cardiac surgery.
If possible, avoid a urinary tract catheter. If it must be used, ask to have it removed as soon as possible after surgery.
If an IV is required, be sure it is inserted and removed under sanitary conditions and that it is changed at least every 3 to 4 days.
If you are planning to deliver a baby by Cesaerean Section, follow the above steps for other types of surgery.
*Source: RID Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths
Our attorneys have successfully resolved numerous medical malpractice cases involving hospital acquired infections. If you or a loved one has suffered an infection caused by a hospital visit, please fill out and submit the contact form on this page for a free and confidential case evaluation, or call us toll-free at (888) 285-3333.