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APIC Recommendations on Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities
Date:5/12/2008

WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To commemorate National Nursing Home Week (May 11-17), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is issuing five steps every resident and their family can take to become their own advocate and reduce the risk of developing an infection during a facility stay. Visit http://www.apic.org to learn more.

1) First Step, Infection Prevention and Control Program

Ask the Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF)/Nursing Home about their infection prevention and control program. Talk with the assigned Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP). Discuss the strategies in place in the facility for infection prevention.

2) Hand Hygiene

Germs may be present on a resident, visitor and/or staff and also on many surfaces in healthcare facilities including bed rails, over-bed tables, wheelchairs, walkers, faucets and even the TV remote control. Residents, visitors and staff can carry these germs on their hands. Proper hand hygiene is essential. Hand hygiene means washing hands with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or using a 60 percent alcohol hand sanitizer. It is not impolite to insist that anyone who is giving care or touching a resident practice hand hygiene. This includes doctors, nurses, nurse aides (CNAs) and visitors. In caring for residents with memory loss, it is important to remember that everyone needs to help with resident hand hygiene.

3) Antibiotics

If antibiotics are being given, ask the reason antibiotics were prescribed. Once prescribed, the full course of medication should be taken as directed. Don't insist on antibiotics if the doctor doesn't advise them because overuse can lead to resistance and other problems.

4) Urinary Catheters

Sometimes urinary catheters are necessary; however they can significantly increase the risk of infection. Urinary catheters should be rem
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SOURCE Association for Professionals in Infection Control andEpidemiology
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