What are two simple steps you can take to prevent hospital-acquired infections in Kingston, New York?

Each year tens of thousands of people in the United States get sick from infections that they acquire in a hospital or medical facility.  The risk of hospital-acquired infections, called "nosocomial" infections, increase for those who are immunocompromised and the elderly. Hospital acquired infections are most common in older adults in hospital or long term care facilities. 
What is the most common hospital-acquired infection?
The most common hospital-acquired infection is Clostridum Difficile, or "C-Diff". C-Diff is a bacteria that can be found on many surfaces in healthcare settings, such as bedpans, toilet seats, linens, telephones and stethoscopes and it causes severe diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. C-Diff can lead to colitis, or inflammation of the colon.  In rare cases, C-Diff can lead to toxic megacolon, which can be life threatening.  C-Diff can be severe and life-threatening in the elderly.
Spores of the C-Diff bacteria can remain alive outside of the human body for long periods of time, and this means that patients in a medical facility are often exposed to situations where they end up accidentally ingesting spores.
The rate of C-Diff acquisition is estimated to be 13% in patients with hospital stays of up to 2 weeks and 50% in those with hospital stays longer than 4 weeks.  Immunocompromised status and delayed diagnosis result in an increased risk of death. 
What can you do to avoid a hospital-acquired infection?
C-Diff causes gastrointestinal symptoms when competing bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, or gut, have been wiped out by other antibiotics.  The most effective method of preventing C-Diff is avoiding the over-prescribing of antibiotics. Several studies have demonstrated that a decrease in C-Diff by limiting broad spectrum antibiotics, such as Clindamyacin.
Patients most at risk for C-Diff are those with recent broad spectrum antibiotic or proton-pump inhibitor treatments.  When broad spectrum antibiotics are over-prescribed, this rids your body of the "good bacteria" and helps the bacteria known as C-Diff get a stronghold in your gastrointestinal tract. Approximately 50% of antibiotic treatment is considered inappropriate.
To avoid the most common hospital-acquired infection, you should do two things: #1: make sure your doctor is not overprescribing antibiotics. Ask your doctor what kind of bacteria is causing your infection and what type of antibiotic will kill the specific bacteria. #2: Make sure your care providers at a hospital or medical facility wear gloves when caring for patients with C-Diff.  Washing hands and wearing gloves when caring for patients has proven to be effective at the prevention of hospital-acquired infections.
What you can do if you want more information about hospital-acquired infections
If you want more information about hospital-acquired infections or C-Diff, I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can send me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com .  You are always welcome to request a FREE copy of my book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of this website.
John Fisher
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