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The truth about hospitals and the infection rate in America

Infections are commonplace in hospitals, but they shouldn't be. With the right care and preventative measures, your environment should be as sterile as possible, preventing you from suffering from secondary conditions. Even visitors and doctors in the hospital setting can be exposed to these sometimes life-threatening infections, which is why it's so important to prevent them.

Over a million infections take place every year while patients are hospitalized. That adds up to one in every 25 patients suffering from a health care-associated infection each day. In most cases, these infections could have been prevented, keeping the patient safer overall.

These infections are very common, and because of the setting, the infections can be resistant to antibiotics, making it harder to eliminate them from your body. The most commonly referred to infection, MRSA, caused 11,000 deaths in 2011 and 80,000 infections in total.

The interesting fact is that it's not only patients who have surgery who suffer from these infections. Anyone who is exposed can fall ill, because bacteria can enter the body through the skin. Many of these infections can be prevented by washing your hands, cleaning the body in any area where a needle or other device will be inserted and by removing devices that penetrate the skin as soon as possible.

Every part of a hospital, even the staff member treating you or the bed you're in, can carry bacteria that could make you sick. Keeping surfaces clean and using bleach or other antibacterial treatments can help prevent the spread of this bacteria and keep patients and visitors safer.

Source: Everyday Health, "10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Hospital Infections," Rosemary Black, accessed May 20, 2016

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