I just read an article about how many doctors and nurses are NOT washing their hands when they visit patients in the hospital. Gross! Of the many times my kids were in the hospital due to asthma (14 times) I watched to make sure people were washing their hands.
My kids were REALLY sick when they were admitted to the hospital (usually because of pneumonia, RSV or smoke from forest fires.) In fact, Son #2 was in ICU twice. I can still remember how scary it was watching him struggling to breathe.
You know your child is in REALLY bad shape when they have a heart monitor hooked up to their chest. The hospital wants to be able to monitor them because children can go into respiratory arrest (stop breathing) and die. From what I understand, if they stop breathing, then that causes their heart to stop beating (cardiac arrest) and they can die. The thought makes me shudder. We came so close to that several times with Son #2.......
The last thing you need is to have a nurse, doctor or respiratory therapist come into the room without washing their hands. I don't want germs from someone else!! If my child is in the hospital for pneumonia, I don't want them picking up the stomach flu, MRSA, or some other nasty infection.
Read the article about how Vanderbilt University hospital started tracking hand washing. It's called "How a team of doctors at one hospital boosted handwashing, cut infections and created a culture of safety."
A doctor's wife had knee surgery at Vanderbilt hospital, and he was shocked to see how many people coming into his wife's room weren't washing their hands. He was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, so many people didn't realize he worked there. He asked everyone to wash their hands and decided they needed to make a change in their hospital. Over 5 years, their hand washing rates went from 58% - 96% and the number of infections also decreased (one of them by 80%!!)
If you are in the hospital with a loved one, make sure EVERYONE who comes into their room washes their hands. Don't be afraid to ask them to wash their hands. You (and your insurance company) are paying for your hospital stay. You have every right to ask people to wash your hands.
Sometimes people just need a nice reminder....and we need to protect our loved ones any way we can.