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