We all have to visit a hospital at one time or another. As we get older, our likelihood of suffering from illness increases, inevitably bringing us to the hospital. We may not always be the patient, however, as we go to visit our friends and family. A common misconception is that all hospitals are clean, but in fact, they are the exact opposite. Hospitals are one of easiest places to contract an illness.
One of the major concerns in hospitals is hygiene. Simply touching an ill patient with a contractible disease and then touching a doorknob can spread an illness to a ton of people. This is a problem that hospitals recognize and try their best to mitigate by emphasizing good hygiene for everyone, including doctors and nurses. However, bacteria and viruses sometimes slip through the cracks.
Doctors and nurses typically carry stethoscopes, EKG’s, and wear lab coats. If these items are not sanitized on a regular basis, diseases can spread immensely.
What is more terrifying is that hospitals commonly have antibody resistant bacteria. This is a type of bacterium that is very difficult to treat and can be fatal. Clostridium difficile is another commonly contracted bacterium in the hospital setting that can lead to severe cases of. These types of infections are so common that they are called nosocomial—meaning it originated in a hospital.
While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the threat of infection in hospitals, we have to do our best to reduce the risk. If everyone follows these simple tips and recognizes that hospitals can be dangerous, preventable disease may be avoidable.