6. The Air

Airborne Germs

Another way that pathogens are transmitted from one person to another is through the air. You may want to bring a face mask along to the hospital, especially if you might find yourself with a hacking, coughing roommate. While some masks only filter out allergens such as pollen or dust mites, you will want a germ-filtering mask that is able to keep microscopic bacteria and viral agents out of your airways.

5. IV Pole

IV Pole

The very IV pole that helps deliver life-saving medicines and fluids can be harboring dangerous bacteria. Since the metal IV pole is another highly touched, hard surface item handled by both healthcare personnel and patients, it is another place that can harbor disease-causing bacteria such as MRSA and VRE. The very best defense against these bacteria is frequent hand washing and insisting that your caregivers wash their hands before touching you.

4. Privacy Curtain

Privacy Curtain

The privacy curtain that surrounds your hospital bed is an innocent-looking item that can harbor a surprising number of germs. These curtains are pulled back and forth as doctors and nurses seek to give patients some semblance of privacy for exams, treatments, and procedures in the hospital room. They can be pulled by visitors in shared rooms trying to give a roommate some sense of personal space, or they can be pulled shut for solitude and rest. The more these items are touched, the more the risk of contamination. Hand washing with soap and water is the best way to prevent transferring germs from the privacy curtain to you or your visitors.


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