How to Stay Safe in the Hospital
When you think of a hospital, you probably think of a feeling of safety and security—the idea that you are there to be taken care of and made to feel better. But, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many people come into a hospital expecting to be cured only to wind up with a worse medical condition that keeps them there much longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 1.7 million infections each year that are acquired while patients are in the hospital. Of those infections, almost 100,000 lead to the death of the patient (see: http://www.patientcarelink.org). And this is just one type of hospital issue that can harm you as a patient. However, there are ways to stay safe and get truly healthy while you are in the hospital. Here are some of those:
Two of the most prominent types of infections found in hospitals include staph and clostridium difficile (also called C. difficile or just C. diff.). There are ways to keep from developing these infections. Alcohol wipes can be used for staph infections, but bleach is necessary to kill C. difficile. Other infections including MRSA, can be treated with a variety of home goods including concentrated hydrogen peroxide (not the common 3% mixture that you keep in first aid kits), thyme essential oil and oregano essential oil, and silver ion products. Vinegar is also a mild disinfectant that can work on some types of infections (see: http://www.staph-infection-resources.com).
Another common hospital acquired malady is the bed sore. If you are stationary for a long period of time, you may develop these sores, also sometimes referred to as pressure sores. There are many ways to deal with bed sores, but one of the best for a hospital patient is to eat healthy foods. Proteins, especially meats, nuts and peanut butter, are a great way of preventing bed sores. Another good way to help is to drink plenty of water. Water keeps the skin hydrated so that it does not break or chafe. So make sure that you down a few extra glasses each day. (visit: http://www.mayoclinic.org)
Following surgeries, some patients may develop pneumonia. This is especially true of the elderly and those who have weakened immune systems that can lead germs to attack and take over. There are a couple of ways to prevent this. One of these is to take deep breaths and move around whenever possible. This will help keep your lungs open and prevent an infection from taking hold. Also be sure that visitors use hand sanitizer as they come in and that no one who is obviously sick visits to spread their germs. Finally, propping up your hospital bed at a thirty degree angle can help prevent you from developing pneumonia (view: https://www.nlm.nih.gov).
Other General Tips
Another thing that you want to do before checking into a hospital is to do some research and “vet” the hospital and doctors. Look at a variety of sources such as Leapfrog, Consumer Reports, or Medicare’s Hospital Compare, to find a rating of the hospital. These will provide information about malpractice cases that have been brought and other safety concerns. You should also take notes of everything that is done to you once you are in the hospital. If something does go wrong, you will want to refer to those notes as they may, in some cases, be more accurate than the medical charts the hospital keep.
If you or someone you love has been harmed in some way after a hospital stay, then you do have rights. Please contact Wolf & Pravato to learn more about what can be done for your case.