Is your doctor hygienic? Here are tips to stay safe during a hospital visit

Did you know that your doctor's stethoscope could give you life-threatening infections? Here are tips to stay safe from Hospital acquired infections.

StethoscopeWe all go to doctors or hospitals expecting a cure for our ailments, but did you know that visiting a doctor can actually make you more ill? According to two independent studies -- one conducted in DY Patil Medical College and one at the Geneva University Hospitals found that a doctors stethoscope is one of the most germ-infested devices you can come across in a hospital setting. The studies found that the instrument is usually infected with a large number of harmful bacteria including drug resistant ones, since the doctor checks on multiple patients throughout the day without sterilizing or cleaning the stethoscope -- making it a potent carrier of infectious organisms. As a simple measure to ensuring a patient's safety from hospital-acquired infections, researchers have suggested that doctors simply wipe down the stethoscope with spirit after every patient they examine.

Read more about why stethoscopes make you trust your doctor more.

So, to help you stay safe from infections, here are things you can do to check if your doctor is hygienic:

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Tips to prevent infection by the hospital staff:

  • Ensure that doctors and nurses wear fresh gloves every time they attend to a new patient.. It is also a common practice in hospitals for the nurse/doctor to clean their hands either with soap and water or with hand sanitizer before touching a patient. It is best that you ensure that they follow that practice.
  • Make sure the patient's room is cleaned and linens are changed on a daily basis.
  • If the patient has used a bedpan, make sure that you get a ward boy to clean out the bed pan immediately after use. Leaving it open in the room can lead to infection spreading.
  • If the patient is admitted to a general ward, make sure any open wounds are dressed appropriately and changed on a daily basis.
  • If the patient passes urine or stool in the bed make sure that the bedding is changed immediately and the patient is also attended to.
  • Request the nurse to check incisions and the catheters for any signs of infections on a daily basis. In the case of a catheter or drain, the bag that collects the urine/stool/fluid should be checked for change in colour regularly. This is an indicator of many conditions including an infection.
  • Keep a track of the patient's temperature. If you notice a spike in his/her temperature it could mean they are suffering from fever which could indicate an infection. Read more about hospital acquired infections.

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With inputs from IANS

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