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I have been a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and most importantly a patient advocate for over 20 years. I have worked in hospitals, homes and as a private consultant, always teaching patients how to speak up for themselves and to make well informed healthcare decisions that are right for them and help them to avoid all types of Medical Errors. The many things I have seen in healthcare led me write "What Did the Doctor Just Say." In it are all the steps every patient needs to take to remain safe in the healthcare system and avoid medical errors. My personal goal is help to save 100,000 people from the horrors of a medical error and I wrote What Did the Doctor Just Say? to help make that happen.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Doctor Just Said: 90,000 People Per Year Die From Hospital Infections. Here's How to Prevent That From Happening To You and Your Loved Ones

One in every 20 hospitalized patients will develop an infection from something they were exposed to in the hospital: an IV, a surgical wound, a urinary catheter, a procedure, or an infected and contagious roommate are among the many causes of hospital-acquired infections. In 2002 hospital acquired infections took the lives of 90,000 Americans and cost our healthcare system more than $30 billion dollars to treat. Hospital-acquired infections may lead to weeks of hospitalization, trips to the ICU, the loss of limbs, and/or death.

At this point most of us have heard that hand-washing is the number one thing you and your healthcare professionals can do to prevent any type of infection. Other things you can do to prevent an infection include (and are not limited too:
Choosing a hospital with a low infection rate
Ensuring that you and your loved ones are given a bath and mouth care that includes an antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs in your mouth and on your bodies surfaces.
Eating foods rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins A, C and Zinc and doing others things that will
Boost your immune system and help your body fight infection naturally.
It is also important that you keep an eye on the housekeeping staff and ensure they clean all parts of your room with a disposable cloth and clean water (not the same water they used to clean your room mates things). There are many other steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from the horrors a hospital acquired infection and I write about them in WDTDJS.

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