Infections that come from visiting the hospital are preventable

Kathleen Benedick

Some Forms of HAIs:

Hospital and Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are contracted when microbes invade your body during unrelated medical care. They can arise from several sources. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can occur when pathogens enter the body through a urinary catheter which cause infection of the kidney and/or bladder. Pathogens can affect the bloodstream when they enter via an intravenous (IV) catheter or tube. Viral or bacterial infections can lead to virulent diarrhea. Often these infections are caused by C.dificile (C Dif), particularly in patients who are being treated with antibiotics. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs in which the alveoli (air sacs) become infected by either bacteria, virus, or fungus. Infections can also development at the site of a surgical procedure.

Be a Proactive Patient:

As your primary advocate, you play a very important role in the prevention of HAIs. Speak up for yourself:  ask questions and make requests. Now is not the time to worry about being pushy or demanding. 

  • Prior to a planned hospitalization, inquire whether you should shower with a special soap or solution. 
  • Be vigilant about taking medications as prescribed. 
  • Become familiar with safe practices involving needles: One needle, One Syringe, One Time. 
  • If you have a catheter, ask whether it is still needed every day. 
  • Inspect your body’s surgical site for redness, tenderness, heat, or discharge.
  • Both you and your health care team and any visitors should be aware of respiratory contaminants. Sneeze and cough into the elbow or sleeve or use a tissue if available. Dispose of used tissues immediately and sanitize hands to the best of your ability. 
  • Be sure to keep your hands washed with soap and water or hand sanitizer frequently, but especially after coughs and sneezes. Make sure everyone around you does so as well.
  • Observe health care providers and support personnel like housekeeping and food service wear and change gloves for each patient. Inquire about changing gloves after touching surfaces used by many like computer keyboards and IV materials.
  • Use wipes to clean oft touched surfaces like bed buttons and rails, remotes, telephones.
  • If your room is dirty, ask for housekeeping to visit. Ask to have the bathroom cleaned daily. 

Bring your Vytis Shield hand sanitizer to the hospital or doctor’s office to sanitize your hands for the protection of others as well as yourself!