Hospital Infections

HospitalThe other day, I read an article in Science Daily talking about hospital readmissions due to infections.  Most of my regular readers probably know that I went thru a very bad foot infection that cost me two years of my life.  Anyone that has been thru a nasty infection themselves or watched someone close to them knows that it is not something you want to revisit.


One particular sentence in the article really bothered me – you can read the full article here.

Furuno said. In addition, the authors suggest patients with positive HAI cultures could be targeted to receive additional discharge planning resources to help reduce the likelihood of readmission.

Maybe I am just annoyed at all the cover-ups going on, but this sentence to me makes it sound like it is the patient’s fault they get readmitted.  In my case, a moron doctor looked at an MRI report and a culture that both stated I still had an infection and cut off treatment for that infection.  How is that my fault?

I know that I had an infection going on when I was fist admitted to Altoona Hospital in September, 2005.  I had a fever of 103 when I went to the ER and also had a very high SED rate, which is a sign of infection.  They did a culture of my foot on September 9th and it stated that I did not have MRSA.

Culture Non MRSA

After being discharged on the 14th, things started going downhill fast and my sister and the home nurse convinced me to go to the local wound center.  Another culture was done on September 27th, 18 days after the first culture.  That culture came back with me having MRSA.

MRSA Culture

I can’t say for sure that I picked up MRSA in the hospital, but I do know that several doctors and nurses touched my foot without putting gloves on.  I know that is something no one will ever do again.  While I was in the hospital, I overheard the nurse in charge talking to the other nurses about a new patient that was highly contagious being admitted on the floor I was on – what that patient had that was contagious, I don’t know.  What I do know for sure is I did not have MRSA when I went into the hospital and I did have MRSA less than two weeks after being discharged from the hospital.

The article also discussed the fact that they did not track patients that were admitted to a different hospital.  My guess is that is a pretty large group of people that were not tracked.  Once someone has a bad experience, they are not likely to go back to the very place that caused that bad experience.

If you are in the hospital, make sure anyone that touches you has washed their hands and is wearing gloves.  Germs spread easily and hospitals are full of them.  Sadly, even though doctors and nurses are supposed to do that simple thing, not all of them do.  Don’t be afraid to speak up – you might end up regretting it more if you don’t.

4 thoughts on “Hospital Infections

  1. I remember, growing up, that my pediatrician’s office had a sink in every room and the doctor would wash his hands every time he walked in. It was such a normal routine that I never paid it much attention. Just recently, I noted that my son’s pediatrician’s office does not have a sink in the room. It seems we’re left to wonder if the doctor washed his/her hands out in the hallway, or perhaps not at all.

    Insisting is one thing (and not a bad thing, I should add). Following a doctor out of the room to make sure they comply is another – that’s not always so easy.

    • It does seem like most doctor’s exam rooms don’t have those sinks in anymore. I am sure a doctor wouldn’t be too happy about having a patient follow them to watch them wash their hands. I kind of like the places that have the little container on the wall and they clean their hands right there if there isn’t a sink. Some doctors just need to glove up, especially when they are looking at an open sore. That is when I will insist on gloves!

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