So you made it out of surgery. Now the hard part begins: Avoiding all the germs in your hospital room! Some of the biggest bacterial culprits are surrounding you. Here’s what you need to be wary of.
Your mattress. Three out of four hospitals DO NOT scrub mattresses. They simply douse them with disinfectants. That’s according a study done by Xavier University. Basically, they spray chemicals onto the bed, wipe them around and let it dry. But they’re not removing blood or other infectious substances. So those can seep right through the sheets. What can you do? When choosing a hospital, find out if the cleaning crew is outsourced. When it’s not an in-house cleaning staff, they just want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. They’re being paid by the room. They don’t have a vested interest in keeping the infection rate down.
Then, just like a hotel room – beware of the TV remote! It’s dirtier than the toilet flusher! The University of Arizona says, since it’s a piece of electronic equipment, they can’t spray chemicals on it. Same with the nurse-call button! So bring disinfecting wipes with you – and wipe that puppy down once a day!
Another bacteria bomb? The privacy curtain between you and Cough-y McGee in the next bed! The curtain may prevent you from having to look at your roommate coughing up phlegm – but 95% of hospital curtains are contaminated with bacteria – some are even coated with MRSA. So if the doctor or nurses touches the curtain before touching you – ask them to wash their hands!