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Medical Teams Are Key to Patient Safety

control in the last decade because it demonstrates that careful attention to good practices results in a dramatic reduction in bloodstream infections,” said Edmond.

Wenzel said that in the past, colleagues in ICUs would avert their eyes from healthcare workers who failed to wash their hands, or had a small tear in their glove, and would continue with the procedure rather than restarting it. “There have been significant improvements to patient safety, and patients are safer in hospitals today, compared to 10 years ago,” Wenzel said. “It is reasonable for patients to take charge of their care to some extent. I tell my patients not to allow anyone to touch them or any catheter unless they first see them wash their hands and put gloves on,” he said.

Wenzel said that to prevent infection, it is imperative for the healthcare team to engage in the basic techniques of hand-washing, to follow strict protocols and to use the catheters for only as long as necessary.

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