Humour us on this one.
Go to your local hospital – the biggest one preferably.
Smile at the reception people and go stand in the corridor just beyond.
Busy, isn’t it?
The world in a hurry
Lots of people in. Lots of people out. Medics, support workers, delivery people, visitors.
Depending on the time of day, more than 60 a minute.
And all in a rush. The only people taking their time are in wheelchairs or on crutches.
Rush, rush, rush.
Notice something else.
See those broad red stripes on the wall with the dispensers at chest level? Can’t really miss them, can you? Like a fire engine on wedding cake. Totally in your face.
That’s the sanitising station – a hygiene stop to treat hands with disinfecting alcohol gel. Three dispensers next to each other, on both sides of the corridor. Well, 60 people a minute, they need them.
Check how the professional people use the things. Brisk step up, squidge-squidge, step away to allow the next one, working the hands, fingers intertwined, making sure it gets everywhere – palms, backs, wrists – still at it as they move down the corridor.
In a rush of course, always on the go – but taking nearly two minutes to do the thing properly.
OK, so how about everybody else?
Here they come, rushing in to see Aunt Joey, Cousin Bob, sick Mummy, or brother Andrew.
Hey, wait a minute, what are you doing..?
Bright red stripe, all the way across the wall and the floor. Invisible.
Either that, or they’re colour-blind.
Nah! Not that many people – never. Fact is though, that they just don’t see it.
60 people a minute – and not all professionals. Ordinary blokes and blokesses. Straight through like there was nothing there. And all that gunk on their hands from the big wide world.
Dirt, grime, sauce from lunch, bits of poo from the last-minute dump before they came – because don’t argue, 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the toilet.
Hang on, though. This is the main entrance – there’s other sanitising stations further inside. Go on! Follow up and see.
No-go at the lift lobby. No-go on the stairs. Not even stopping at the entrance to the ward. Straight through to Joey/Bob/Mummy/Andrew.
Never mind this is a hospital, never mind there’s open wounds or anything.
Kiss-kiss, hug-hug – hands all over each other.
An open ticket for e.coli, salmonella, c. difficile, campylobacter, MRSA, colds, flu, norovirus – or anything else that’s on the go at the moment.
The elephant in the room, isn’t it? And you’ve just seen it for yourself. THE major cause of all kinds of infection in hospitals.
And that’s the reality.
Forget today’s paper with its shock horror headlines about the NHS. It’s not about staff inadequacies, failure of care, or lapse in procedures.
The real bad guys
It’s everyday visitors.
People straight in from outside without a hint of hygiene. Thoughtless, careless, couldn’t give a stuff.
Not until it’s them who’s in here after chopping off a finger. Them, with MRSA turning into runaway sepsis. Can’t find a doctor or nurse to take care of things? And who’s stupid fault is it there are so many people in here with complications in the first place?
The NHS takes a lot of flack because of people like that. Always hard-pressed, always in an emergency, swamped by people too full of themselves to have any consideration for others.
Sure they’ve got problems – you try running your hardest without a break for days on end and see how you score. So they don’t need more stupidity lucked on them by visitors.
Yeah, lots of finger-pointing by the holies – the service isn’t up to the job. But same like always, it’s one finger pointing forwards – and three fingers pointing back.
The biggest cause of hospital bugs? Carelessness by people like you and me.
OK, it’s not difficult – just go ahead and use the gel!
Originally posted 2015-10-15 15:45:12.