Cleansing hands is the easiest way to reduce the risk of spreading germs that cause infections.
To use alcohol rub, dispense a walnut-sized amount onto your hand and rub until dry before touching anything.
If you are placed on special precautions to prevent transmission of infection, the nurse will review what the staff will be doing and what your responsibilities are. You will also receive information about your condition.
A central venous catheter (line) is put into a large vein so you can get intravenous (IV) medicines, blood, fluids and/or nutrition. The line can stay in place for days or weeks.
Everyone (you and your health care team members) should cleanse their hands before and after touching the line. Health care team members will check the skin around your line sit every day for signs of infection (redness, warmth, increased drainage or pain). They will also check every day to see if the line is necessary.
Tell your nurse if your incision is warm, painful, red, or has increased drainage.
Your chance of infection increases the longer your catheter remains in place. Tell your nurse if the urinary catheter comes out or it you have pain, pressure, or the sudden urge to urinate.
A ventilator is a machine that helps you breathe and supplies extra oxygen to the lungs. Ventilator-associated pneumonia is a lung infection you can get while connected to the ventilator.
To prevent a lung infection:
Report concerns about safety to your nurse or to the hospital's patient representative office.
Health's Patient Education Department, How to Prevent Infections During
Your Hospital Stay, ic-ahc-33302
Information adapted from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota Department of Health, the Association for
Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Surgical Care
Improvement Project Partnership, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
You are an important part of the health care team.