28 November 2006

Managing Effluvia Better

A sad tale from the United Kingdom about opportunistic infections contracted at hospital.

This problem is far from unique to Britain (though their socialized medicine 'paradise' sounds far, far worse off in that regard than our 'inhumane' semi-free market health care system), in the United States, hospital acquired infections kill more people annually than better publicized diseases (and better funded in opposition) such as AIDS or breast cancer.

The solution is far simpler than a new drug cocktail or use of controversial new treatments, the solution is discipline within the medical community to follow their best practices when seeing patients (in other words, wash your damn hands upon visiting and leaving every patient), even while busy and understaffed. Vigilance by family members of patients in observing and monitoring the care their loved ones receive is one way to help stem this problem.

Don't be afraid to be an asshole, whenever a doctor or nurse visits a patient you know, guide them towards the wash basin and make sure they soap up (and it should go without saying, do the same yourself). The life or health of someone you know depends on it.

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