St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center
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Preventing Infection

Proper hand washing is the single most important way to prevent infection during and following a hospital stay. Here are some additional recommendations about hand washing and other prevention methods.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling soiled materials, coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or using the bathroom.
  • Do not be afraid to remind your doctor, nurses or other caregivers to wash their hands before touching you.
  • Ask family and friends who have a cold, cough, fever or other respiratory symptoms not to visit you in the hospital.
  • If you have a dressing over a wound or intravenous catheter (IV), keep the area clean and dry. Tell your nurse if the dressing becomes soiled, wet or loose.
  • If you are a diabetic, talk to your doctor about the best way to control your blood sugar before, during and after your hospital stay. High blood sugars can increase your risk of infection.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing a lung infection. Ask your doctor or nurse to provide you with information on smoking cessation programs.
  • Ask your doctor to avoid using a urinary catheter, if possible. If you need a catheter, ask your doctor to remove it as soon as possible. The catheter tube that drains urine from your bladder can be a source of infection.
  • If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will reduce your risk of infection.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about breathing treatments and getting out of bed. Deep breathing and activity can prevent lung infections. If pain is a concern, ask your nurse for pain medication and advice on reducing pain before doing these activities.



Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center  |  1055 N. Curtis Road  |  Boise, Idaho 83706  |  208-367-2121

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