A hospital is supposed to be a place where you get medical attention that will make you feel better. But some people fear hospitals and consider them dangerous. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola on his web site, Mercola.com, a hospital stay is 10 times more likely to kill you than a car crash.
Why hospitals can be dangerous
Siting statistics from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, 1 in 25 patients developed a hospital-acquired infection. In 2011 alone, 75,000 people died as a result of infections acquired in a hospital. In addition, there are medical errors than have led to death. According to a 2013 study, medical errors that could have been prevented kill around 440,000 patients each year.
How to protect yourself
Some recommendations for protecting yourself during your hospital stay include:
- Make sure you understand the reasons behind your doctor's recommendations for surgical procedures and drugs. As a patient, you have a right to be informed and understand the risks.
- Wash your hands often in the hospital, using soap and water. Wash thoroughly under nails, and use a paper towel to open the door to protect them from germs on door handles.
- Insist that medical personnel, doctors and nurses wash their hands before touching you.
- Ask to be tested for MRSA. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections. MRSA occurs among people who have been in hospitals or other healthcare facilities.