Hand washing:  still our first and best line of defense

Protective steps to take in a healthcare facility

1.  Frequently wash hands using soap and water.  (Alcohol hand sanitizers don’t kill C. diff.)

2.  Demand that your visitors and health care workers practice proper hand washing as well.

3.  Bring your own 1-to-10 chlorine bleach/water solution to clean common surfaces such as your bedrails, bed tables, call buttons, telephone, door handles, etc.

4.  Make sure health care workers use fresh gloves and gown when they enter your room.

5.  Insist you receive clean gowns and other clothing for yourself in addition to daily bathing.

6.  Place your food or utensils only on the surface of your plate

7.  When you leave the hospital, assume any belongings you bring home are contaminated; don’t mix clothing from the hospital with the family wash.  Use bleach.  Detergents don’t kill C. diff.

Protective steps to take in the home

1.  Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.  Thoroughly rinse and dry.

2.  Frequently wash utensils and surfaces such as cutting boards, sinks and work counters.

3.  Routinely disinfect all surfaces with a bleach-based solution.

4.  Cook foods to proper temperatures.  The elderly and those with compromised immune systems may need foods cooked to higher temperatures than the minimum recommendations. 

Sources:    OSU News from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, November 13, 2012      rid (reduce infection deaths)


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