Hospitals are designed to help make and keep us healthy. Doctors, nurses and other staff members work tirelessly to perform exams and procedures to diagnose and treat what ails us, from the common cold to various forms of cancer. But did you know that approximately six percent of those who go to the hospital pick up an infection during their stay?
Although hospitals are beacons of health and treatment, they are also a hotbed for germs—and not surprisingly, when you think of all the sick patients they house. Many of the germs that cause these infections are ones that we come into contact with on a regular basis, but when our immune systems are down, either from surgery or sickness, we are more susceptible to infection. Open wounds from surgery also create targets for these germs to access our bodies and affect us. Some of these bugs have become dangerous because overtime they have developed resistance to antibiotics, a common one being MRSA.
One of the major reasons why infections are so widespread at hospitals is a simple issue of hygiene, including an inadequate amount of hand washing. In the hustle and bustle of moving from one patient to the next, it has been found that care providers do not always take the time to thoroughly wash their hands. This moves the germs from one patient or environment to the next. To help combat this, make sure that your nurse or doctor is taking the necessary precautions—it is OKAY to remind them to wash their hands.
It is also important that surfaces are thoroughly cleaned between uses. One way to look into this is examining the general cleanliness of the hospital before you choose to use it, as well as look at online reviews or reports from past patients or health review boards. Ask hospital staff what their protocol for cleaning is (frequency, products used, etc.) and keep an eye on whether or not they are being followed. You may not be the most popular patient with staff—but your health and safety are worth it!
There are several other precautions you can (and should) take before, during and after your hospital stay. One is to ensure that you are properly cleaned before your procedure or entering the hospital. You can do this by deeply cleansing yourself with an antibacterial wash. Many of our soaps contain essential oils that contain antibacterial properties—Bug Away, Easy Breathzy, Protect and Tea Tree are particularly helpful. You can also wash your hands routinely with an antibacterial hand wash, such as our Foaming Hand Soap. Upon returning home, make sure that all of the surfaces in your home are properly cleaned with products that are safe and contain those magical cleaning agents (check out these deep cleaners).