While enjoying your vacation on the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, you suffer an injury that requires hospitalization. Focused on your recovery and getting home, the last thing you want to concern yourself with is a secondary infection that may lengthen your stay. Unfortunately, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of every 31 hospital patients suffers from a hospital-acquired infection on any given day across the U.S.
Due to viruses, bacteria, fungus and other germs that may exist in hospitals, as well as a potentially weakened immune system, you may contract an infection while hospitalized. Should that happen, you may require additional medical treatment, including the administration of antibiotics, and rest to recover. However, you may take certain precautions when in the hospital to help prevent such illnesses.
Hand hygiene is essential in helping to prevent the spread of germs, especially in hospitals. While hospitalized, make sure physicians and nurses wash their hands upon entering your room. Additionally, it may be helpful for you to wash your hands regularly, use disinfectant wipes on the objects you touch in your room and ask any visitors to wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer.
Watch for signs of infections
Early identification of infections may help ensure that you receive the treatment you need in a timely manner. It is important to notify your health care providers if you notice symptoms such as redness or pain around a catheter insertion site, diarrhea, or nausea or vomiting. These may indicate that you have a potentially serious infection, which may result in a worsened medical condition or death.
If you have any concerns at all during your hospitalization, ask your health care providers about them. This includes questions about whether they have washed their hands, inquiring about medications and if you still require IVs or central lines. Staying as involved as possible in your care may help make sure that you receive the appropriate level of care. You may also consider having a family member or friend with you to serve as your advocate in the event that your condition keeps you from protecting your health and your rights.