Prevent and Control Infections
Many germs that cause viruses and infections, such as flu and colds, are spread by the hands. To prevent viruses from spreading, LIFE AT HOME HEALTH CARE AGENCY in Massachusetts recommends that you wash your hands regularly.
When Should You Wash Your Hands?
Using the Toilet
and After Handling/Eating Food
and After Cleaning Wounds
Changing Bandages or Diapers
Personal Care and Mouth Care
and Caring for Catheters
Touching Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
Touching Pets and Money
Coughing, Sneezing, or Blowing Your Nose
Time Your Hands Are Soiled
Signs of an Infection
Skin (Skin That Is Red, Hot, Swollen, Painful, or Has a Rash)
From a Wound
or Frequent Urination (Sometimes Accompanied by Bad or Strong Odor)
Other Unusual Symptom
If you have any signs of infection, inform your nurse immediately. Please call your doctor if nurse is not available.
Controlling Infections in the Home
- Clean and disinfect bathrooms.
- Clean your room daily.
- Clean toys, books, and games with soap and water or wipe with alcohol.
- Wash trash containers with soap and water, and then spray with commercial disinfectant.
- Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning medical equipment.
- Whenever possible, open the windows and air out your room.
- Store and prepare food carefully and keep utensils clean at all times.
- Handle soiled laundry carefully and wash contaminated laundry separately in hot, soapy water.
- Flush blood, urine, vomit, and feces in toilet. Clean the toilet afterwards.
- Do not share personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, towels, washcloths, drinking glasses, and combs.
Disposal of Hazardous Materials
put the cap back on any needles.
needles and syringes in a puncture-proof container such as an empty
laundry detergent bottle.
needles and syringes should be out of reach of children and out of
sight of visitors.
all used dressings into a plastic bag before placing them inside your
household trash bag for disposal.
hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after contact with
soiled clothing by washing them separately in hot water with a
solution made up of one part bleach to 10 parts water.
contaminated waste (dressings, sanitary pads, diapers, and
underpants) in a plastic bag. Pour a small amount of one part bleach
to 10 parts water solution into bag and secure tightly. Then, place
in another plastic bag for disposal.