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 (= venous thromboembolism is a condition where a blood clot forms in a vein) on admission to hospital following the clinical risk assessment criteria and reflecting guidance from NHS Improvement . Also, patients and carers can expect to be offered verbal and written information on continuing VTE prevention as part of their discharge plan [NICE QS 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 this – 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 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. Take Spirigel alcohol hand gel or Hibiscrub antiseptic handwash (from a large Pharmacy) – 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 a single-use blades 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!) 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 30 June 2019. © 2019 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.