Treatments and tests

Avoiding infection

When you are unwell or recovering from surgery, the last thing you want is to get an infection which could delay your recovery and make you feel worse.

Infections are caused by bacteria or viruses entering the body. You can take steps to help safeguard against infection in hospital and at home.

  • If you are a smoker try to quit smoking, or reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke before being admitted to hospital.
  • If you have had surgery or have an open wound, follow your doctor’s or nurse’s instructions on how to treat and care for the wound carefully.
  • Avoid close contact with people who may have an infectious
  • condition, and ask people not to visit you if they are sick. You should also stay away from other patients if you are unwell.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and wash your hands immediately.

Your visitors can also help by not sitting on your bed and by always using the anti-bacterial hand gel.Hands dispensing hand sanitiser

Doctors, nurses and other health practitioners come into contact with lots of bacteria and viruses. They should always clean their hands properly before they treat you. If you are worried, ask whether they have washed their hands before they examine you.

Clean your own hands regularly particularly before eating or touching food.

When washing, use running water and soap and rub your hands for at least 15 seconds. You can also use an alcohol-based gel on your hands to kill bacteria.

Remember

  • Infections are caused by bacteria or viruses entering the body
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and wash your hands immediately
  • When washing, use running water and soap and rub your hands for at least 15 seconds.

Acknowledgements

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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