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Infection Prevention

Prevent Infections When You Get Medical Care

Get tips on protecting yourself from infections when you get medical care.

Review Date: December 18, 2014

National Health Information Center - NHIC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FAQ's About Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infections- (PDF)

A “central line” or “central catheter” is often used to draw blood, or give fluids or medications. A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria or other germs travel down a “central line” and enter the blood. If you or a loved one has a central catheter, find out what you can do to help prevent infections.

Review Date: March 26, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FAQ's About MRSA- (PDF)

People who have MRSA germs on their skin or who are infected with MRSA may be able to spread the germ to other people. What are some of the things that hospitals are doing to prevent MRSA infections? Read on to find out what you can do to prevent the spread of infection.

Review Date: March 26, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FAQ's about Surgical Site Infections- (PDF)

A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Infections develop in about 1 to 3 out of every 100 patients who have surgery. If you are planning to have surgery, find out what you can do to help prevent SSI's.

Review Date: March 26, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FAQs About Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus- (PDF)

The enterococcus is a germ or bacterium that lives in the intestinal tract and in the female genital tract. Occasionally, the enterococcus can cause an infection of the urinary tract, bloodstream, or skin wounds. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that can be used to treat those infections.

Review Date: March 26, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a serious but uncommon infection caused by either Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or by streptococcus bacteria. Originally linked to the use of tampons, it is now also known to be associated with the diaphragm and other birth control methods.

Review Date: December 31, 2012

The Nemours Foundation

CDC Vitalsigns: Stop Infections from Lethal CRE Germs Now

Untreatable and hard-to-treat infections from CRE germs are on the rise among patients in medical facilities. CRE germs have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics that are available today. FInd out what you can do to stop the spread of infection.

Review Date: March 05, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CDC VitalSigns: Stopping C. Difficile Infections

C. difficile causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Learn how C. difficile spreads, and what you can do to help prevent it.

Review Date: January 15, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Encephalitis: Mayo Clinic

Encephalitis refers to brain inflammation resulting from a viral infection. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of encephalitis, and review these prevention tips.

Review Date: November 13, 2014

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Five Questions to Ask Your Dentist About Infection Control

These five questions address infection control practices a patient should look for in a dental office for assurance that the dentist and staff are taking proper precautions against cross-infection.

Review Date: November 12, 2012

Organization for Safety & Asepsis Procedures

Hand Hygiene Saves Lives- (PDF)

It only takes 15 seconds of using either soap and water or an alcoho lbased hand rub to kill the germs that cause infections. Hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of infections.

Review Date: March 26, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Having Surgery? What You Should Know Before You Go

How can you and your loved ones safeguard against surgical site infections? Read on to find out.

Review Date: March 26, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Infection Protection: The Buzz on Scuzz

Learn about how germs on your hands can make you sick, when you should wash your hands, and proper handwashing methods.

Review Date: January 23, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kids: Rabies

Rabies is a virus that in the U.S. is usually transmitted by a bite from a wild infected animal, such as a bat, raccoon, skunk, or fox. If you suspect that your child has been bitten by a rabid animal, go to the emergency department immediately.

Review Date: December 31, 2012

The Nemours Foundation

Lurking in the Locker Room

Do you know where nasty things like bacteria and fungi may be hiding? Come in to the boys' and girls' locker rooms to see what's lurking under foot and behind closed doors.

Review Date: February 12, 2013

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Patient Safety: Podcast

The Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of lapses in patient safety. This program features an interview with AHRQ Director, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, discussing this important issue.

Review Date: September 11, 2012

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Patient Safety: Ten Things You Can Do to Be a Safe Patient

You go to the hospital to get well, right? Of course, but did you know that patients can get infections in the hospital while they are being treated for something else? Here are ten things you can do to be a safe patient.

Review Date: October 17, 2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Personal and Home Hygiene

Personal hygiene and household cleanliness practices are important methods to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease. Find fact sheets on many related topics including: creating a healthy household, antibacterials in household products, and how to fight colds.

Review Date: January 23, 2013

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics

Pink Eye: Usually Mild and Easy to Treat

Pink, itchy eyes? Conjunctivitis – or pink eye – is common in adults and children. It spreads quickly and sometimes needs medical treatment, depending on the cause. Know the symptoms, get treatment if needed, and prevent its spread.

Review Date: December 07, 2012

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases - NCIRD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Preventing Infections in Pregnancy

Use these simple tips to prevent infection during pregnancy and keep your unborn baby safe.

Review Date: December 11, 2012

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC

Rabies

Rabies is a serious viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It typically spreads by way of the saliva of infected animals.

Review Date: October 30, 2014

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Rabies and Kids

This site helps kids learn about rabies, a dangerous virus that can infect and kill animals and humans. Get the facts, learn the warning signs, and protect yourself and your pets from animals with rabies.

Review Date: December 31, 2012

National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Sepsis Fact Sheet

Sepsis is a serious medical condition caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection. Learn more about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of this condition, which strikes over 700,000 Americans each year.

Review Date: July 14, 2014

NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences - NIGMS

Staph Infections: For Parents

Learn how staph infections spread, are treated, and steps you can take to prevent your child from becoiming infected.

Review Date: December 31, 2012

The Nemours Foundation

Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin

A doctor may request a C. difficile toxin stool test if your child has taken antibiotics in the past month, has had diarrhea for several days, and may have abdominal pain, poor appetite, and fever.

Review Date: October 17, 2012

The Nemours Foundation

Wound Care: Preventing Infection

Learn how to prevent a wound from amputation or other surgery from becoming infected.

Review Date: August 23, 2011

National Limb Loss Information Center

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