Checklist for patients to take into hospital to avoid getting infections and viruses there:
- Obtain the infection control policies of the hospitals or health centres you are thinking of using, often available on their web sites. If they are not there, that is a bad sign. Check if their policy states the actions they take if they find a patient with an infection.
- Having chosen your hospital, take with you a printout of their infection control policy, and check that it is being put into action when you get there.
- Make sure that, like every adult patient, you have a documented VTE risk assessment. VTE is short for Venous ThromboEmbolism, a condition where a blood clot forms in a vein.This check uses the Infection Prevention Toolkit from the Royal College of Nursing. Also, patients and home carers can expect to be offered verbal and written information on continuing VTE prevention as part of their discharge plan [NICE QS3, updated March 2018].
- Take in antibacterial wipes – most brands kill hospital bugs on tables, metal, bed frames and lockers.
- Wash your hands regularly, and apply supplied alcohol hand gel after this – both are required .
- Don’t fiddle with wound dressings or tubes – increases risk of bacteria getting into wounds.
- Don’t walk around with bare feet – always wear slippers.
- Don’t fiddle with items on you or your drips.
- Keep the space around you tidy.
- Shower as often as you are able, never have a bath.
- Remind staff and visitors to wash their hands thoroughly before and after coming to the ward, and then apply gel. e.g. Spirigel Complete Virucidal 85% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Gel (buy online) – having your own supply to offer visitors makes life easier.
- Use special washes and shampoos, and a cream in your nose to kill the bacteria.
- Do not shave anywhere near the area of your skin that is going to be operated on – this could leave small cuts, which make infection more likely. Do not shave at all before surgery [NICE QS49]. If hair needs to be removed, ask healthcare staff to do it with electric clippers and a single-use blades head.
- The infection ‘Clostridium difficile‘ has been flourishing in poorly cleaned hospitals, It is frequently antibiotic-resistant and causes severe diarrhoea. Recent research shows that giving Actimel ((from your supermarket!) twice a day to patients over 50 reduces the incidence of this [Review of 25 studies, by Dr Mary Hickson, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, 2008].
page updated 27 Oct. 2020. © 2020 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.