How to Stay Safe in the Hospital


Did you know that hospital-acquired infections are the nation’s eighth leading cause of death?

Consumer Reports provides guidelines for staying safe during a hospital stay, and somber information regarding why they are necessary.

“Hospitals are breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria, including those that cause C. diff and MRSA infections,” state their recent findings. “Some 650,000 people developed those and other infections after being admitted to U.S. hospitals in 2011, and 75,000 died, based on the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Their advice:

Check Up on Your Hospital

See how it compares with others on central line, C. diff, and MRSA infections, as well as other measures of patient safety. To compare hospitals in your area at preventing infections, use Consumer Reports’ hospital ratings.

Have a Friend or Family Member With You

The most important times to have a companion for preventing infections and other medical errors are on nights, weekends, and holidays, when staff is reduced, and when shifts change.

Keep a Record

Keep a pad and pen nearby so that you can note what doctors and nurses say, which drugs you get, and questions you have. If you spot something worrisome, such as a drug you don’t recognize, take a note or snap a picture on your phone.

Keep It Clean

Bring bleach wipes for bed rails, doorknobs, the phone, and the TV remote, all of which can harbor bacteria. And if your room looks dirty, ask that it be cleaned.

Ask About Antibiotics

For many surgeries, you should get an antibiotic 60 minutes before the operation. But research suggests that the type of antibiotic used or the timing of when it’s administered is wrong in up to half of cases.

Read the complete article: 15 Tips for Preventing Infections in the Hospital