Staying Alive 4 of 6

Now that you have a puppy on your lap as you read your book and have regular checkups with your female doctor what else can you do to stay alive?

Next: Stay Out of the Hospital!

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There was a time when the term “hospital clean” meant sterile and spotless. Today, unfortunately, the meaning could be the opposite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists nineteen nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections three of which are antibiotic resistant. These can be life-threatening infections and they are transmitted in various ways including, but not limited to, patient to patient. Viruses and bacteria can also be spread by health care workers, contamination of furniture and other articles and through the air.

Hazards other than infection can result from surgery, treatment, immobility, and falls. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tracks the rate of the following complications resulting from hospitalization: (notes are parentheses are mine)

  • Pressure Ulcer (bed sore)
  • Pneumothorax (lung collapse)
  • Fracture (broken bones from falls)
  • Hemorrhage or Hematoma (bleeding)
  • Acute Kidney Injury Requiring Dialysis (kidney failure)
  • Postoperative Respiratory Failure
  • Perioperative Pulmonary Embolism or Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot during surgery)
  • Postoperative Sepsis (serious, often life-threatening, infection of blood or other tissue)
  • Postoperative Wound Dehiscence (incision opening following surgery)
  • Unrecognized Abdominopelvic Accidental Puncture/Laceration (accident in surgery of the abdomen or pelvis)

What Can You Do?

There are times when hospitalization cannot be avoided. During those times one has little choice but given the option of outpatient care that is usually the best recourse. Understanding the risk of infection, in particular, should make one hesitant about visitation in hospitals. Situations vary and there are times when a hospitalized patient needs someone with them. If that is not the case protect yourself and them by waiting until they return home for visits. 

“A hospital is no place to be sick.” Samuel Goldwyn

Writing this reminds me of many years ago when I was in the hospital for a couple of days. My then eleven year-old daughter gave me a book for a gift when I left home to have surgery.   Although I no longer have that book, I clearly remember the title, “Staying Alive!” Thanks for the smiles, Allison!

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