You wake up in pain. You know something isn’t right, that you need help. So you do what any sensible person would do. You go to the hospital emergency room.
They admit you for surgery and everything goes well. Except…
During your recovery, you develop a hospital-acquired infection. Suddenly, you’re fighting for your life because of an illness you never would have been exposed to outside the hospital.
Does that seem outlandish? It shouldn’t. As many as ten percent of hospital patients end up with infections as a result of being in the hospital. These infections kill almost 100,000 people a year!
How does this happen? Well, Consumer Report recently did an analysis of thousands of hospitals to see how they measure up when it comes to preventing these kinds of infections.
One in three of the hospitals they reviewed did poorly when it came to controlling the spread of hospital-acquired infections. Nineteen of our nation’s most prestigious hospitals scored a failing grade.
Like so many things, you are your own best defense against hospital-acquired infections. Do a review of hospitals in your area and learn which one has the best track record in terms of hospital-acquired infections. If you must be hospitalized, ask the doctor and nurses to tell you about the protocols they use to prevent the spread of infections. (If they walk you through the protocol, they’re more likely to follow it when dealing with you.)
The best way to avoid hospital-acquired infections is to stay out of the hospital. So eat well, sleep well, and stay active. That’s a recipe for better health and less involvement with our scary medical system.
And get informed, staring by reading more about the rise of hospital-acquired infections.