Don't get sicker at the hospital - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Don't get sicker at the hospital

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Ernest Shock Ernest Shock
Dr. Kalassian Dr. Kalassian
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Did you know about 200 Americans die every day from infections they get in hospitals? The CDC says Georgia hospitals are making progress in lowering patient infections but still need to do better.

 Doctors and nurses at Phoebe follow a lot of rules to keep patients safe from possible infections. The intensive care unit at Phoebe Putney has several measures in place to try to keep patients from getting infections.

"We put a checklist in place to check dressings. It's very important if the dressing isn't sealed, you can get an infection to a line, "said Ernest Shock, RN nursing Director of Adult ICU.

Nurses in the ICU perform checks during procedures and shift changes to reduce the risk factors of infections. "We do a program called scrub the hub, where you scrub the line before you access the line to kill all the bacteria," said Shock.

A long hospital stay makes an infection more likely. "One of the tasks of the intensive is to provide care so that the length of stay for any patient in the ICU is the shortest possible," said Dr. Ken Kalassian, Medical Director of Critical Care.

The state's infection rates are falling at a slower rate than the national average. Phoebe uses best practices, especially with equipment. "Everything we use in the intensive care unit is single use and so it comes from the manufacture sterile. So we don't have that problem with needing to re-sterilized equipment and leading to infection," said Dr. Kalassian.

Medical officials at Phoebe strive to keep the number at zero.

The hospital also says hand washing is one of the best practices to avoid infections.


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