When going to a hospital here in north central Ohio for surgery or other treatment, you might experience a flurry of thoughts and emotions. You might have all kinds of hopes regarding how your treatment will go. You also may have some worries. This could include concerns about the possibility of developing an infection during your time at the hospital.
The dangers of hospital infections
Patient infection risks can arise at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Healthcare-associated infections are a significant health issue and can have considerable impacts on patients. Some such infections are difficult to treat, such as those that are antibiotic-resistant. Infections at hospitals can sometimes even pose risks of sepsis or death for patients.
How you can protect yourself
As the CDC notes on its website, there are things hospital patients can do to address concerns they have related to hospital infections. Such infection-prevention steps include:
- Talking to your doctor about your concerns
- Not being afraid to ask your healthcare providers questions. This could include questions on antibiotic use and what steps the providers and the hospital are taking regarding preventing infections. It also could include infection-related questions regarding surgeries, catheters or needles.
- Watching out for possible infection signs. This could include fever, pain and redness.
- Keeping an eye on if your healthcare providers are washing their hands, and asking them to clean if you suspect they haven't
- Asking friends and family who are visiting to wash their hands before making contact with you
Hospitals have a duty to protect patients
Of course, you shouldn't have to rely solely on your own actions for infection protection at a hospital. Hospitals should be taking appropriate measures for preventing the development and spreading of infections. When hospitals and their staff fall short of the standard of care on this front, patients can be put at great risk. A medical malpractice lawsuit may be possible when such negligence at a hospital results in a patient suffering a dangerous infection.