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How to Survive an Unexpected Trip to the Hospital During Christmas and New Years
Date:12/20/2007

he patient you're looking for."

5. Make sure those meds are intended for you. When the nurse shows up with a pill in a little paper cup, don't swallow it obediently, without checking first that it's what the doctor ordered. Medication errors kill some seven thousand patients a year, and injure many more. A study of hospital and nursing home patients in Georgia found that patients were medicated incorrectly 11.5% of the time; A Colorado study documented a 23% error rate. And these studies were not done on holidays!

6. Insist that all caregivers clean their hands before treating you. Don't be misled by gloves. If they've pulled on the gloves without cleaning their hands, the gloves are already contaminated. Unclean hands are the primary cause of hospital infections, which kill as many people in the U.S. each year as AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined.

Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., Chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, is a health policy expert and a former Lt. Governor of New York State.

She is available to discuss ways to avoid medical errors and hospital infections during the holidays. She is the author of a forthcoming book, The Hospital Patient's Bedside Companion.


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SOURCE Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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