Hospitals failing to prevent deadly infections
My mother was a pretty easygoing gal, but Heaven help you if you ever violated her most cherished rule — always clean up after yourself.
Well, it looks like plenty of hospitals today could use my mom’s advice. A new study has revealed that thousands of people every year may be dying because some hospitals are about as clean as…well… a pig in a mudslide.
One of the infections that’s tearing through hospitals like a runaway train is caused by the nasty bug Clostridium difficile (C. diff). These foul infections can trigger severe diarrhea leaving you dangerously dehydrated.
In fact, C. diff infections are responsible for killing 14,000 Americans a year! And if you’re wondering whether hospitals could be doing more to prevent these deadly infections, you’re right on the money.
A recent survey conducted by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology found that many hospitals were failing to take even the most basic steps to prevent C. diff infections. We’re not talking about boiling the sheets here either — we’re talking about simple preventive measures, like wiping down commonly used surfaces with bleach.
Nearly two-thirds of responding hospitals had no objective measures whatsoever for determining whether a room is clean. And that’s a problem, because the best way to keep you safe from C. diff is to make sure you never contract the infection in the first place. C. diff is resistant to antibiotics, and even when the drugs work, infections can return easily.
Luckily, the best way to keep yourself safe during a hospital stay is also the simplest. It’s with regular hand washing.
I’m talking the real deal — soap and running water for a full minute. (Those alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are so popular in the hospital won’t kill C. diff). And while you’re at it insist that anyone caring for you…nurses and doctors alike… join you in that hand washing, because no one should check into a hospital to get sick.
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