The best way to control infections is to wash hands. Even when wearing gloves, handwashing before and after applying and removing gloves is important.
Handwashing should be done whenever possible, but especially:
- Before and after tending to any sick person
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After touching soiled linen
- After sneezing
- After touching garbage
- Before eating
- After using the restroom
- Anytime hands are visibly soiled
Proper handwashing can be accomplished using soap and water, or hand gel. Hand gel can be used to clean hands effectively, except when hands are visibly soiled or when you have been in contact with someone who has diarrhea – soap and water should be used to remove all particles.
Cover Your Cough
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cover your mouth with your upper sleeve, not your hands. You may be asked to wear a mask to protect others, especially if visiting the Hospice House or Center for Acute Hospice Care.
Disposable Items and Equipment
Used paper cups, tissues, dressings, bandages, plastic equipment, diapers, disposable pads, gloves, etc., should be disposed of in waterproof (plastic) bags. Fasten the bags securely and throw them in the trash.
Non-Disposable Items and Equipment
Dirty laundry should be washed in hot, soapy water, in a separate load, and handled as little as possible to decrease the spread of infection. If the patient has an infection, add a mix of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water to the load.
Small equipment items can be washed in hot, soapy water, then rinsed and dried with clean cloths. Larger equipment should be wiped down using the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sharps should be disposed of in a hard plastic or metal container with a sealable lid. Please ask your hospice nurse for a needle disposal unit if needles will be used frequently in your home. Dispose of full containers per instructions for local trash disposal.
Body Fluid Spills
Put on gloves and wipe up fluid with paper towels. Use a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water to wipe the area again. Double bag the used paper towels and gloves and throw them in the trash.
Signs Of Infection – Report Right Away
Please notify your Hospice of the Piedmont staff member if you notice any of the following, which can be signs or symptoms of infection:
- Pain, tenderness, swelling
- Inflamed skin, rash, ulcers, sores
- Pain when urinating
- New onset of confusion
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat or cough
- Increased tiredness or weakness
- Green or yellow pus