Avoid infections in Hospital

Checklist for patients to take into hospital to avoid getting infections 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, that is a bad sign. Check if the 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 fully implemented when you get there.
  • Ensure that, like every adult patient, you have a documented VTE risk assessment on admission to hospital following the clinical risk assessment criteria and reflecting guidance from NHS Improvement [39] and NICE Quality Standard 3.
  • Take in antibacterial wipes – most brands kill hospital bugs on tables, bed frames and lockers.
  • Wash your hands regularly, and apply supplied alcohol hand gel after – both are required [40,  RCN: “Wipe it out].
  • 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 drips.
  • Keep the space around you tidy.
  • Shower as often as you are able, never have a a bath.
  • Remind staff and visitors to wash their hands thoroughly before and after coming to the ward, and then apply gel. Take Spirigel (from your supermarket) alcohol hand gel – 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]. If hair needs to be removed, ask healthcare staff to do it with electric clippers and single-use head.
  • The infection ‘Clostridium difficile has been flourishing in poorly cleaned hospitals, It is frequently antibiotic-resistent and causes severe diarrhoea. Recent research shows that giving Actimel ((from your supermarket, again!) 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].

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page updated 16 July 2018.  © 2018 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.

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