Hospital Infections

By donna13 Latest Reply 2011-07-11 03:26:53 -0500
Started 2010-02-05 11:31:08 -0600

I saw something on the news today about hospital infections. Has anyone gone to the hospital for either an emergency or a routine procedure and gotten an infection? I was to have a colon operation, and the surgeon told me I would be in the hospital for only 2 or 3 days. When I asked why so short a time, he said that hospitals are petri dishes, growing all kinds of infection and he wanted to get me out quickly. Well, I got what they call a c-def infection and ended up staying 12 days, more or less bed-ridden. I won't go into the gory details - just say I couldn't leave my room. Evidently the anti-biotics they have to give you when they operate on your innards killed the good bacteria along with the bad. And I got this infection.

31 replies

k7k6c7 2011-07-10 01:31:42 -0500 Report

At the hospital I work at all employees,from health care workers to maintenance people are required to at the very least sanitize their hands before they go into a patient environment (ie: if the bed has a curtin around it then the area if the curtin was closed would be considered the patient environment). Not only that they are required to sanitize after leaving the area also. If complaints are made the employee could possibly face disiplinary action or even dismissal. As I explained to the staff that I dealt with-it's more reassuring to th pt if the hand washing is done in front of the patient.

jayabee52 2011-07-10 23:29:06 -0500 Report

I worked in hospitals as a CNA, and while I followed the proceedures I noted that MOST of the times it was the Drs who violated the proceedures the most. They just walk from patient to patient, room to room without washing or even using sanitizer on their hands.
I called a couple Drs on it, let's just say they made things rather unpleasant for me for a while after that. I'm glad I didn't get fired.

k7k6c7 2011-07-11 03:26:53 -0500 Report

At our hospital we have people designated as auditors to do spot checks and monitor the hand washing/sanitizing. I got "volunteered" to be one of the auditors and yes I even monitor the doctors. Don't get me wrong I'm not implying they are all compliant but we're trying. When I was in the hospital I'd tell the doctors to sanitize their hands before they touched me. As pt's if possible we have to be our own protectors when it comes to this.

selfdiane 2011-07-09 17:45:46 -0500 Report

I was in the hospital from May 3 - May 10 for bacterial meningitis. Because they weren't sure what it was at first, they had me taking 10 different antibiotics. These caused several complications, but I thought that I had enough medication in me to kill anything. WRONG!!! After I had been home only a few days, I developed bacterial conjunctivitis and a fungal infection that settled in four different places (the worst was on my scalp). To get rid of the conjunctivitis (pink eye), I made 7 visits to doctors (my primary care physician once and 6 visits to an eye specialist. Between the co-pays for the office visits and two different eyedrop prescriptions, at $30.00 co-pays, I spent $200.00 and almost three weeks to get rid of pink-eye! The fungus was easier to diagnosis and treat. My doctor said that I went to the hospital to get rid of one thing and took two other things home with me.

jayabee52 2011-07-09 12:52:53 -0500 Report

My bride got c-diff, and I got it from her after a hospital stay. Then I got it again in Nov 2010 from a hospital stay. I jokingly hint that it might be the hospital food.

I used acidophilus pills to combat the c-diff. They worked beautifully.

Gemm 2011-07-09 10:46:37 -0500 Report

I personally haven't gotten an infection while hospitalized myself but know several people who have. One of my husband's uncles died a few years ago from one he got in a hospital and a dear friend of ours got MRSA and another one from hospitals, and because her insurance wouldn't pay for the heavy duty antibiotic 1st, until she had gone through a series of them, she ended up on IV antibiotics of one kind or another for over a year with a nurse coming to her home 4 days a week (payed for by that same insurance company) to do the IVs and make sure the wounds (started with 1 where she had the surgery and ended up with 3) were not getting worse, until they finally decided "Oh she needs the one her doctor prescribed for her the 1st time around". Once she had been given that it cleared up in just a few weeks. During this time she was also treated for recurring yeast infections and a couple of others because, as you said, the antibiotics also kill the good bacteria we have naturally in our system to prevent just such infections from occurring.

All during this treatment she also had to eat a couple servings of yogurt every day to try to keep at least some of the good bacterias in her system. She wasn't real good at that until she figured out that if she ate it she didn't get the other infections nearly as often nor as bad as not eating it at all. She didn't like yogurt before and now she loathes it but has eaten it a couple times since then when she had to be on antibiotics.


GabbyPA 2011-07-09 07:55:56 -0500 Report

What the doctor said is so VERY true. More people get infections from being in the hospital. You are around thousands of people who drift in and out with all kinds of things. Being home is often a much better option. My husband had cleucitis last year and the antibiotics he had to take killed everything. It took us months of probiotic treatment to get him back to normal. Keeping those good bacteria is so vital, and that is why antibiotics mess us up so much. They are indiscriminate on what they kill. I try to avoid taking them.

Two painful feet
Two painful feet 2010-02-06 13:42:08 -0600 Report

I was in the hospital for corrective bone surgery. I contracted a staph infection that all most lost my leg. I lost 18 days of my life. Just waking in horriable pain and then I was gone asleep thankfully. When I was finally sent home it took me many months to feel human again. I very afraid of having another surgery because of this experience. We have a brand new hospital, but I'm sure it is full of germs already. This sure brought up bad memories.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-06 15:28:06 -0600 Report

Hi, Painful two feet!! Glad to see your post as you are a special, young lady!! How horrible to have to go thru that, I too, had a foot surgery, cut off my big toe, then cleaned out the joint, and PINNED it back on—gross, but I was so very fortunate and did not get any infections, although my Dr sent me home as quickly as possible in order to avoid such!! He also whacked all four hammertoes, top and bottom to release the strictures, did turn out so much better, AFTER the pain was gone!! haha—-I took Lortabs after surgery but had to make sure I also ate crackers or such to avoid—-"losing it—" Did anyway a few times, so glad THAT is behind me!!

Did your foot surgery help YOU??!! Hugs, Pat R

tholz 2010-02-06 23:35:46 -0600 Report

My uncle just had back surgry and is back in the hospital due to an infection. So gets out on mon and will have to have home care it stinks

Deb-G 2010-02-05 21:36:33 -0600 Report

These are the sepsis issues that kill alot of people that are in for routine surgery…Staph infections (MRSA)are nasty things to solve and often take many days of I.V.Antibiotics and sometimes months of Picc line antibiotics even after you go home…Scary…thats why temp in the emergency rooms are so cold to not encourage bacteria growth…but unfortunately its still a huge problem :(

Anonymous 2010-02-05 21:52:57 -0600 Report

I listed a few things above that work to contain the spread of infection, but I left out maybe the most important and that is US - WE speak up when a health care provider comes at us and we haven't seen them wash their hands - we ask them to do so before they touch us. And I personally will not allow a phlebotomist or nurse to draw my blood or start my IV even if they wash their hands and wear gloves if they also have long nails with fingernail polish. Even with a surgical hand scrub I do not believe fingernails that are long and polished can be adequately cleaned. My opinion only.

imsuzie2 2010-02-06 04:58:16 -0600 Report

One of my husband's clients got MRSA in the hospital and I think she was stuck there about a month, or was it 3? Took forever for her to be cured.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-06 11:36:25 -0600 Report

Suzie, what is MRSA?? Hugs, Pat R

Deb-G 2010-02-06 12:43:01 -0600 Report

MRSA is a deadly staph infection you can get at the hospital…all the infection control ideas are wonderful thoughts…and surgeons do go thru a scrub routine prior to surgery…In surgery none of us are awake to see whats going on and thats where most deadly staph infections are picked up…its a surgical risk…even with a hospitals diligent care to disinfect it happens…very serious..and MRSA is an antibiotic resistant strain…scarey!

donna13 2010-02-06 12:50:38 -0600 Report

I believe they have found that it can be found in locker rooms, some athletes have contracted it. My son worked with someone who got it and her doctors could not pinpoint where she picked it up. But, you're right. Most of it comes from the hospitals.

Anonymous 2010-02-06 21:22:46 -0600 Report

MRSA = methicillin resistant staph aureus. Twp types: community acquired and nosocomial (hospital). Just because patient is diagnosed with MRSA infection in hospital does not mean hospital caused it. Patient could have been colonized with MRSA and it did not cause a problem until patient was ill, debilitated, in weakened state, had urinary catheter, etc. Community acquired MRSA can cause everything from irritating skin infections that people mistake for bug or spider bites to a deadly pneumonia that kills itherwise young, healthy people. I write this based on my education, training and experience - don't want to sound like a "know it all" because I am not. I'm going to wash my hands now..LOL…just thinking about this makes me want hot running water, soap and friction!!!

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-06 23:12:49 -0600 Report

Thank you for your expertise, Anon—-every bit of info is appreciated as it is better to PREVENT illness, that try to CURE it—especially with the New bugs that have become resilient to antibiotics—partly because we forgot to take ALL of our pills to fight an infection! Our youngest son is bad about that,but he is ONLY 48 years old, MAYBE he will get it, before something Gets him! hugs, Pat R

spiritwalker 2010-02-05 14:55:07 -0600 Report

All hospitals have infection control problems. You take400-500
people coming in for surgery daily. That means you have a great deal of air born infection. Many people are sent home without surgery. They come in with colds,bronchitis,and flu
and still expect to have surgery. These germs join all the others floating in a confined space. This doesn't cover the
people who come through ER with infected wounds.
My personal choice for surgery is a day surgery center.
You check in and go home a few hours later. Its owned
by the hospital but generally less chance of infections.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-05 13:24:07 -0600 Report

Infections in Hospitals?? Of course, they are breeding grounds, just be thankful if you don't come out with Staph, a REALLY bad one—I know from experience and also from hear-say. Be CLEAN is OUR Middle name, wash those hands—etc, of course if you do touch something, it starts all over, and I can SEE why some poor souls get ADDICTED to washing—Soap and Water/ Moderation and Prayer, is MY answer! Pat R

ptsparkle 2010-02-05 12:52:34 -0600 Report

Your Doc was correct. I was in for 5 days, and on the third day, a patient was put in the room next to mine, where all nurses, Drs., and visitors had to gown up and put masks on. I kept wondering what kept those pesky little germs confined just to his room?

donna13 2010-02-05 13:33:40 -0600 Report

I was dx with the infection just 2 days after surgery. I was put in an isolation room. It had an ante-room off of it that had gowns and gloves for the personnel. I was weak from surgery and scared of what was happening. As my 2 daughters approached my room, they were told by the nurse they had to put on these gowns. They came twirling into the room in these bright yellow paper gowns, saying they were going to the prom. I really am thankful for my husband's weird sense of humor that all my kids have inherited. The laughs they gave me where just what I needed.

donna13 2010-02-05 14:09:39 -0600 Report

I'm sorry, that wasn't where I wanted to go. I sort of got side-tracked with old memories, this was about 6 years ago. I wanted to say that when I got my strength back and asked if I could walk in the halls there was no objection. I was really surprised. I thought that since I was still in an isolation room I would be confined there. But noone seemed to be concerned that I would infect anyone else. I did make sure I went no where near any other patient.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-05 16:41:17 -0600 Report

Oh, Donna, I am surprised that they let you walk in the halls while IN Isolation!!! Not in our little, country hospital!! WE ALL had instilled in us—OK-years ago—to be respectful of ALL GERMS!! We had a saying that our stern surgery nurse would NEVER allow ONE GERM to grow in HER surgery room!! haha—But it made us feel better and we seldom had a cross contamination case, maybe a UTI or pneumonia—-which has many causes anyway!

I got sidetracked too, was really thinking of how your dear daughters turned a tense moment into one of humor!! I got written up one time at our hospital, when I was employed, as I "laughed inappropriately"! My psychiatrist just laughed!!! He thot that was a little foolish!! Sigh—-heck if you do, heck if you don't, so do whatever suits your fancy!! Oh, Brother!! haha—PR

Anonymous 2010-02-05 21:46:10 -0600 Report

Handwashing, aseptic technique, sterile technique, protective garb, controlled air flows (positive or negative pressure depending on various factors), excellent housekeeping services. good cleaning of reusable equipment…to mention just a few of the things that keep those "pesky germs" where they belong!!!

freddyswn 2010-02-05 12:30:49 -0600 Report

My father walked in the hospital for back surgery to relieve pain, developed a surgical wound abcess and spinal menigitis and now can't walk.

Kira_xo 2010-02-05 12:11:29 -0600 Report

I never have had an infection. But my cousin had to have a c-section and got an infection in the cut while still in the hospital. She got sent home and it got worse. So she had to keep going back to have it cleaned and was put on medication. She went back 3 or 4 times… after that I think I would have just gone to a different hospital.

Harlen 2010-02-05 11:52:25 -0600 Report

It can happen my wife in a Rn at the hospital and your Doc is right.
Rather be at home then in the hospitel
If I have any anti-biotics I will have some yogert three or four times a day
Best wishes

MAYS 2010-02-05 11:47:41 -0600 Report

Hospital aquired infections are more common than you can imagine but aren't made known for obvious reasons, (lawsuits, credibility, reputation) among other things.
It has never happened to me but I have friends who work in hospitals and tell me of it all the time.

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