When you come into hospital for treatment you may have an increased risk of infection for a number of reasons:
- Illness reduces the natural ability of people to fight off an infection
- Medical treatment can leave the body vulnerable as the natural defences like the skin are penetrated, for example, by the creation of a surgical wound or the insertion of drips or urinary catheters that may be needed as part of your treatment
It is important that you keep a high standard of personal hygiene during your stay in hospital and the staff will assist you when required.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet
- Always clean your hands before eating and drinking
- A tub of moist hand wipes is a useful and convenient way to quickly clean your hands
- If a toilet or bathroom does not look clean before you use it, please say so
- If you have had diarrhoea or have vomited in a toilet please let a member of staff know
- Please keep the area around you as tidy as possible as this helps us to keep the hospital clean
MRSA - the facts
MRSA (meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a version of a widespread germ which is resistant to some antibiotics. It can be treated. MRSA is most commonly found in certain sites in the body such as the nose and groin area. If you are worried about MRSA, please ask a member of staff for an information leaflet.
Some people may carry this organism without knowing and without harm being caused. This is known as carriage.
You may be screened for MRSA carriage so that we can offer you skin washes and nasal treatments to reduce the risk of infection while you are having treatment.
In order to reduce the risks of this germ spreading to other patients, it will usually be necessary to separate patients with MRSA from those without it by caring for them in a single room. This is known as barrier nursing and is carried out because there are other vulnerable patients in the hospital.
Help reduce the risk of infection
If you have a wound drain or urinary catheter, speak to your nurse if it becomes loose or disconnected. Ask your nurse if the catheter is needed if you think that you do not need it any more.
If you have a surgical wound, please report any loosening of dressings, leakage from the wound or any pain or redness at the area of the wound.
If you have an intravenous device or drip, please report any redness or pain at the site of the drip and ensure that someone inspects the site three times a day.
If you have not seen staff clean their hands before caring for you, we encourage you to ask them to do so before they touch you or any of your dressings.