Infection Control

When you are admitted to the hospital, you will notice that at times the health care staff may be wearing gloves, masks or gowns when they are caring.

for you or performing certain procedures on you. The use of these protective barriers has become standard throughout the healthcare system. At NJCH the use of these barriers is called “standards precautions”. Standard precautions are used on all patients, regardless of their diagnosis. They are protective steps for your health, safety and that of the caregiver. Your family members and visitors may be asked to use any of these protective equipments or devices for your or their protection, and they should comply with and respect hospital regulations and instructions.

What is infection control?

Infection control is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of infection among patients, healthcare workers, and visitors.

Why is infection control important?

In a hospital, patients are cared for by many healthcare workers in very close quarters. Frequent contact is made between people who have an infection or can spread one, and people who can easily become infected. Also, some types of procedures can increase a patient’s risk for infection. Preventing infections is important to help patients to recover quickly and stay as healthy as possible.

What kinds of infection occur in the hospital?

  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Wound infection after surgery.
  • Blood infections.
  • Respiratory infections.

Who can get an infection?

Anyone can get an infection but some people are at special risk because their immune systems are weak. Others are at risk because they have had a procedure that that while saving their life may have increased their risk of infection. In a hospital, it is especially important to prevent infections in all groups including patients, visitors, and hospital staff.

Who at special risk for infection?

  • Newborn babies.
  • Older adults.
  • People with diabetes.
  • Surgical patients.
  • People taking medications, like antibiotics, and transplant patients taking immuno- suppressive drugs.
  • People with tubes for fluids or medications, for example: urinary catheters and IVs.
  • People with poor general health.
  • People being treated for cancer.
  • Patients hospitalized for a long time.
  • Very ill patients, such as those in ICU.

What are some examples of ways infections are spread?

  • By direct contact, such as touching an open wound with unwashed hands.
  • By indirect contact, such as when a person has contact with something that is contaminated (dirty).
  • By being carried through the air, such as when people sneeze or cough.

How can you keep away from getting an infection or spreading one to someone else?

Cleanliness is the key to infection control. The best way to prevent the spread of infection is through good hand-washing.

How should you wash your hands?

Wash your hands by rubbing them together for 10 to 15 seconds, using soap and lots of water.

When should you wash your hands?

  • After using the toilet, blowing your nose, or sneezing.
  • After handling contaminated (dirty) items.
  • Before and after eating, drinking or handling food.
  • When your hands look dirty.
  • Everyone should wash their hands at entering a patient’s room and on leaving it.

What other ways can you help in preventing infections?

  • Always use good personal hygiene.
  • Don’t share patient’s care items, such as creams, glassware, or towels.
  • Take an active part in your care.
  • If you have an illness that could be dangerous to others, don’t visit the hospital while you are infectious.
  • If you have queries about certain situations, ask your doctor or nurse.
  • Be aware of infection possibilities and early signs of infection (redness, swelling, fever).

Other things to know:

Most patients can receive live plants, except those who are in intensive care units, or those receiving drugs that suppress their immune system. But these patients can receive silk flowers. To prevent germs from growing, foods must be refrigerated as needed. Food left un-refrigerated or in the open may attract flies and grow bacteria. Personal pets are not allowed in the hospital.

Thank you for helping us prevents infections by:

  • Knowing infection control procedures and rules.
  • Cooperating with hospital staff at all times.
  • Instructing your family members and visitors to adhere strictly to infection control instructions.
  • Taking an active role in your own or your patient’s care.

If you have any queries, please ask your doctor or nurse or call infection control office at extension: 2107.