How to Avoid Hospital Germs

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Florence Nightingale once said, “The first requirement of a hospital is that it should do no harm.”


Unfortunately, that goal has still not been totally achieved. There is a good deal of research that shows spending time in a hospital can make you sick–for several reasons.

•  There are a number of viruses and bacteria brought into hospitals by patients, employees, and visitors.

•  The hospital rounds made by the staff can transmit viruses and bacteria from one patient to another.

•  Hospital procedures, such as injections and I.V. therapy, penetrate the skin, bypassing the body’s first line of defense against disease.

Nosocomial (hospital-linked) infections are on the rise due to hospital cutbacks, carelessness and violations of infection-control standards. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.

•  Try to be as well-rested and as well-nourished as possible before you’re admitted to the hospital.

•  Ask that hospital personnel wash their hands before providing care to you.

•  If a hospital roommate becomes infected with pneumonia, ask to have your room changed.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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