Tips to Prevent Healthcare-Acquired Infections in Ohio March 30, 2012.
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are those that patients contract while being treated for a medical condition. Unfortunately, they’re more common than most people think: For every 20 hospital patients, one will contract an HAI, according to the National Patient Safety Foundation.
Three of the most common types of HAIs include:
- infections at surgical sites;
- pneumonia; and
- catheter-related bloodstream infections.
Many cases of HAIs are attributed to medical errors or negligence. If you need to undergo treatment at a clinic or hospital, try the following tips to help protect yourself from HAIs:
- wash your hands after touching anything, particularly when you leave the restroom;
- ask your friends and family to avoid visitation if they’re ill;
- make sure your wound dressings, skin surrounding a catheter, and your bed sheets are kept clean and dry;
- inform your nurse if your bandages become wet, loose, or soiled; and
- take whatever steps possible to lose excess weight, control blood sugar, and cease smoking prior to surgery (obesity, high blood sugar, and smoking all increase the risk of infection).
Patients submit themselves to a hospital’s care in order to improve their medical condition, and it’s important that medical professions live up to their duty of care for the patients’ wellbeing.