NEW YORK, Apr 21 (Reuters) It's estimated that every year as many as 2 million patients in the US contract an infection while in the hospital, and that 90,000 patients die as a result. Additionally, some 98,000 people die each year due to medical errors made in the hospital.
What can you do to protect yourself? When it comes to infection, ''the number one thing you can do is to make everyone who walks into your room wash their hands,'' said Betty Hoeffner of Chicago.
''Whether it's a doctor, a nurse, or a friend - make them wash their hands before they touch you. Most hospital rooms have special gel to clean the hands or a sink in the room,'' Hoeffner told Reuters Health.
Hoeffner is executive producer of an award-winning video called ''Things You Should Know Before Entering the Hospital'' available at http://patientsafetyvideo.com. The video comes with a safety checklist to take with you to the hospital.
In the film, a nurse says she's never been asked by a patient to wash her hands, but she'd gladly comply with the request.
Hoeffner told Reuters Health that the film's editor who acquired a knee infection while in the hospital was the inspiration for the film.
She explained that after an ultrasound of the knee, the nurse went to wipe off the ultrasound gel with