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Droplet precautions must apply in hospitals

This year's flu season is particularly bad. Hospitals are being overwhelmed by people who are looking for relief from this nasty virus. Some hospitals in the country are limiting visitors in an effort to decrease the spread of germs. For the men and women who work in the hospital, the need to reduce the transmission likelihood from one patient to the next is imperative.

Droplet precautions are often necessary when you are around a virus like influenza. All hospitals have established these precautions, but that doesn't mean that nurses and other medical professionals always follow them. When precautions to reduce transmission aren't taken, patients can suffer greatly. Imagine the horror of contracting the flu when you were at the hospital for something else. This could be a deadly event in a person with a weakened immune system.

Precautions that are required for patient contact must be clearly posted on the room or window of the patient's room. Some of the common precautions include only going into the patient's room with a gown, gloves, shoe covers and a face mask. When the person is leaving the room, these items must be properly disposed of.

An obvious, but sometimes neglected way to stop the spread of germs, is to wash your hands. All hospital employees, including doctors, nurses and anyone else who has contact with patients should wash their hands often and before they contact a patient.

For the people who become ill due to lax safety precautions in the hospital, the cost of getting care and the misery of an illness like the flu can be horrible. These individuals might choose to seek compensation for the issue.

Source: Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, "Follow all Posted Precaution Signs," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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