Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI) Carry Steep Price Tag... Doctors are not exempt from using old-fashioned soap and water to wash their hands.

"In the News," today was about nosocomial infections (hospital acquired infections). As the, "In the News," box changes daily, here is a link to the article on the topic being discussed today:

Approximately 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections are diagnosed every year. In a recent study--the first to investigate the costs associated with this problem--researchers concluded that pneumonia and blood-borne infections caught in hospitals killed 48,000 patients in the US and cost $8.1 billion in 2006. Patients who developed sepsis, a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, after surgery had to stay in the hospital an average of 11 days extra, at a cost of $32,900 per patient, while pneumonia patients stayed an extra 14 days after surgery, at a cost of $46,400. More ... Discuss
Again, the, "In the News," story changes with the day, so I linked it and put the quote.

Here's a quote that one can reflect on. I am not recommending believing in it, rather, I am suggesting it gives an idea that can jog the mind and make us stretch a bit when we ponder and develop steps each of us can take to solve a global hospital-acquired infections crisis.
Why do so many people in top positions fail to follow the ethical rules that they promote? New research suggests that power makes people more strict about other people's actions, but less strict about their own.
Source:; Accessed 2-27-2010.

Did I sound like I was picking on doctors in the title, "Hospital-Acquired Infections Carry Steep Price Tag... Doctors are not exempt from using old-fashioned soap and water to wash their hands?" Well, everyone has to wash his or her hands, but I noticed in my own mini (informal) study, that the food service and maintenance employees at three hospitals washed their hands much more than the nurses and doctors at those hospitals. They had recently had a training on preventing the spread of disease and appeared to retain and apply the information they had learned. (Do you doubt the results of my own informal hand-washing study? Good! I want to get you to take action. Do your own study. I hope that will show improvement.) The nurses I watched used the push-button cleaner and frequentlyskipped the soap-and-water hand-washing. Only one doctor in a two week period at the three hospitals (when being observed), washed his hands. That's why the title. But the message is for all (Whether one is a student, a doctor, a nurse, a maintenance person, a food preparer, a visitor, or, anyone...), whatever else you do:
Wash your hands with soap and water.
Here's a quote from the above-referenced article that indicates we all need to be vigilant:
Measures to prevent infection are simple and include careful handwashing, hygiene and screening patients when they check in. However, these measures are difficult to enforce, many studies have found.

In other words, you and I play a role in stopping the spread of hospital-acquired infections and super-germs.

To begin with, wash your hands with soap and water. Use the foamy cleaners, too. Those are push-button easy, but, they don't kill everything. Why?

quote goes here, too

5 miscarriages from a hospital-acquired mycoplasma
Near death from VRE

Fortunately, everyone in my family recovered (with the exception of the mycoplasma-related miscarried babies). But, that was with vigilance: yogurt with Lactobacillus rhamnosus (2T every hour...) (Required legal statement: This post and no part of this entire blog is meant to cure or prevent any disease. Topics discussed here are not any kind of advice. Follow the advice of your trained medical doctor. I am not a medical doctor.) Also, we used a plant which I believe stopped internal bleeding. (Again, not medical advice, not meant to cure or prevent diseases). Did you know that having a do-not-resuscitate order is a risk factor for some hospital acquired infections. I read that in a refereed journal article about 2 years ago. I do not have the reference now, but, if I locate it, I will post it.

You might think there is a, "bad hospital," near me, however, these nosocomial infections are found in hospitals around the world. We need to solve this world-wide problem, so, what else can you do?

This is just my opinion about what I'd do for myself:
  • Take all prescription antibiotics till the end and get tested to make sure your infection is gone.
  • Use regular, old-fashioned soap and water (not the newer, "antibacterial," soaps and detergents.
  • Sleep well.
  • Eat healthily ( know...all the things your mother (and father) told you...).
  • "Eat your vegetables."
  • Exercise
  • Stay home if sick and get well.
OH, AND...DON'T BELIEVE IT IF THEY SAY THE PATIENT'S POOR IMMUNE SYSTEM CAUSED THE PROBLEM. Superbugs at hospitals and spreading into the community, rather, into communities all over the world. There's a war...good microbes versus bad microbes. HAI against patients. Want another view on survival? Look at the video posted on fire ants and lizards (If you don't see it, use the search bar on this blog. Search for, "fire ants." Changing behavior helps the lizard survive. Analogy: Make sure people (including you, and, me, too) wash their (our) hands well and frequently.

Under development...More to come.

Further reading:
(Sounds like advertising, but, makes some good points.)


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