Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why are Hospitals Breeding Grounds for Germs?

In the United States, more than 2 million people are affected by hospital-acquired infections every year, and 100,000 people die as a result.

Recent studies have shown that contaminated medical devices and spreading germs from patient to patient are keys to the growth of hospital-acquired infections.

Doctors and nurses not washing their hands prior to touching a patient is the most common violation in hospitals. As few as 40 percent of staff members comply with hand-washing standards, with doctors being the worst offenders, according to findings by The Times.

Doctor's ties and even their white coats have also been implicated as potential causes of infection. At the University of Maryland, the Wall Street Journal reported that 65% of medical workers said they change their lab coats less than once a week, even though knowing they were contaminated. Fifteen percent said they change their lab coat less than once a month, even though superbugs, like staph, can survive on them for nearly 60 days.

Going to the hospital should always be viewed as the option of last resort, when you have exhausted all others. It is in these health care settings that superbugs like MRSA run rampant. It is becoming increasingly common for healthy people to enter a hospital for a "routine" surgery, only to come down with a hospital-acquired infection(HAI) and become seriously ill or even die.

Healthy eating, exercise, and stress management should be of high importance in your daily routine to help keep you out of the hospital. source

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