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Negligence in hospitals is never acceptable, protect yourself

Patients in the hospital count on medical teams to keep them safe. Even individuals who are inpatient at top-rated medical centers should know what steps they can take to protect themselves. It isn't their job to make sure that the staff members follow protocol, but knowing some basic information is greatly beneficial.

Doctors and nurses aren't infallible. They should never become upset that you are taking steps to protect yourself. As long as they are acting in your best interests, there shouldn't be a problem with you asking questions about what's going on.

Infection prevention

Many hospital-acquired infections are preventable. There are three primary ways that staff members can prevent them. The easiest is to wash their hands before and after caring for a patient. The second is sanitizing all instruments, including stethoscopes, that are used in patient care. The third is following proper protocol for handling patients who have communicable conditions. All surfaces in the room should go through a thorough cleaning between each patient's use of a room, and should be cleaned on a regular basis while you are in the hospital.

Invasive procedures

Germs are easily transmitted during invasive procedures. Preventing infections and cross-contamination isn't as easy as it is for general hospital stays. If you need to have surgery, find out if you can avoid having the site shaved because shaving creates nicks on the skin that allow bacteria and germs to easily penetrate. Using antibiotic-coated catheters is also beneficial in a hospital setting. Intravenous lines must be handled in a clean environment, and they should be changed every few days to prevent problems.

Proper monitoring

No matter the reason for your hospitalization, you should be carefully monitored. This includes taking your vital signs periodically. While it isn't fun to have to wake up to have this done, it is critical since this information can often alert staff members to health complications. The monitoring you have depends on the condition you are facing. For example, the protocol is different for cardiac surgery patients than it is for new mothers recovering from childbirth.

When staff members don't follow the established procedures, patients are vulnerable to harm. Negligence in the hospital is never permissible, so patients who suffer harm can pursue compensation. This helps to cover the increased cost of care, time out of work and other financial damages that you experience.

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