2023 International Infection Prevention Week: Tips for avoiding infections from medical facilities

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) is an annual observance in mid-October to raise awareness of the importance of infection prevention and control. The 2023 IIPW theme, “Celebrating the Fundamentals of Infection Prevention,” highlights the importance of simple yet effective infection prevention measures, such as hand hygiene, vaccination, and proper cleaning and disinfection.

According to the Infection Prevention and You website, 1 in 31 patients receiving care in a hospital will get a healthcare-associated infection (HAI). HAIs can be serious and even life-threatening, and they can add to the cost and length of hospital stays.

Tips for avoiding infections from medical facilities

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of getting an HAI, including:

  • Clean your hands often. This is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of infection. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect yourself from infectious diseases, including some HAIs. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are right for you.
  • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare providers about their infection prevention practices. You have the right to know what they are doing to protect you from infection.
  • Speak up. If you have any concerns about infection prevention, speak up to your healthcare providers. You are your own best advocate.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Choose a reputable medical facility. Do some research before choosing a hospital or other medical facility. Look for facilities that have a good reputation for infection prevention.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the medical facility and the healthcare providers. If you see anything that concerns you, speak up.
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. This will help you stay healthy and reduce your risk of infection.

By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of getting an HAI. Remember, infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Working together can create a safer and healthier healthcare environment for everyone.

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