Hospital Alert

The U.S. has some of the best medical care in the world with many hospitals that are second to none.

But every year as many as two million people contract infections during hospital stays.

Consumer Reports says many of those infections prove fatal.

Ten years ago, Ellen Haith went into the hospital for a routine operation on her knee.

"If not an athlete, but I'm a very active person. I don't want to go through the rest of my life with a trick knee. So I went for it and boy did I pay for that."

Two weeks after the operation, Ellen developed a serious infection. It would take her 3 years to recover.

Consumer Reports says despite her ordeal, Ellen is one of the lucky ones.

Ronnie Sandroff, editor of the consumer reports on health newsletter, says an estimated 90,000 people die every year from an infection they've contracted during a hospital stay. There's a lot that makes patients vulnerable.

"Many people who are admitted to the hospital already have infections. There are a lot of people in the hospital with weakened immune systems. And many of the things that get done in the hospital, from inserting an iv to surgery itself, can open the way for infections."

Consumer Reports says to increase your protection from infection first insist on clean hands. Surveys show less than half of doctors and nurses wash their hands between patients.

Second, be aware how long a urinary catheter is in place. If it's more than 48 hours, ask your doctor if you still need it.

Also, get up and around as soon as possible to prevent bedsores. Following these steps can cut down on your risk of becoming a victim of hospital infection. .


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