How to prevent an infection before being admitted to hospital
- Ask your doctor about any vaccines you may need to prevent respiratory illness including influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines.
- Follow any recommendations from your health-care providers regarding weight, diabetes management or smoking before hospitalization. This may help to prevent an infection following surgery.
How to prevent an infection while in hospital
- Hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs. All staff should clean hands before providing care. Feel free to ask a staff member if they have cleaned their hands prior to caring for you.
- Cover your cough with a fresh tissue and try to keep your hands away from your face as germs can enter through the nose, eyes and mouth.
- Let your care provider know if you require a clean gown or linens or other personal hygiene supplies.
- Try to keep the area surrounding your bed clutter-free. This enables housekeeping staff to properly clean your room.
- Some patients are placed on “additional precautions” while in hospital. This would mean that anyone visiting maybe required to wear gloves, gown, or masks.
- Inform your care provider if any of your dressings are loose, if your incision is red or tender or has increased drainage.
- Follow your care providers’ special instructions, such as breathing exercises or directions for getting out of bed, as this can help prevent a lung infection (pneumonia).
How to prevent an infection after you go home from hospital:
- Watch for any signs or symptoms that may indicate an infection such as increased or unexpected pain, chills or fever, increased drainage, pus or swelling of a surgical wound.
- Complete the full course of any antibiotics that may have been provided by your doctor.
- Follow all discharge instructions that were provided to you by your health-care providers.
- Be sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your health-care team.
Read more about infection prevention