The biggest enemy you have in the hospital isn't your phone-addicted roommate. It's much smaller. And there are billions of them. They have names like B. staphylococcus or staph, Klebsiella and enterobacter. One may have even visited you before. His name is E. coli, and he's responsible for half of the all hospital infections.

Mom Was Right—Wash Your Hands!
When you're in the hospital, absolutely insist that everyone who comes in contact with you washes their hands first, and make sure you wash your own hands several times a day. You might even post a sign that reads "Thank You for Washing Your Hands" as a gentle reminder.

You Don't Bring Me Flowers
To reduce the odds of getting a hospital infection, your first gift should be an industrial-size jug of alcohol hand-sanitizing gel. Keep it by your bed and ask all visitors who might conceivably touch you to squirt some on.

Insist on a Clean Stethoscope
Stethoscopes are filthy from being used on several patients an hour. Most doctors now wash their stethoscopes with alcohol between patients, but we'd always ask.

Don't Touch That Remote!
Or wear rubber gloves if you want to click through the daytime soaps. A study found that remote controls are some of the most germ-infested things in a hospital room.

Stick up for your rights


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