Holy Family Hospital and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley take
an active role in preventing infection. We encourage our patients to do
the same. Avoiding contagious diseases like the common cold, strep
throat, and the flu is important to everyone. Here are five easy things
you can do to fight the spread of infection:
Clean your hands
Use soap and warm water. Rub your hands really well for at least
15 seconds. Rub your palms, fingernails, in between your
fingers, and the backs of your hands.
Or, if your hands do not look dirty, clean them with
alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Rub the sanitizer all over your
hands, especially under your nails and between your fingers,
until your hands are dry.
Clean your hands before touching or eating food. Clean them
after you use the bathroom, take out the trash, change a diaper,
visit someone who is ill, or play with a pet.
Cover your mouth and nose
Many diseases are spread through sneezes and coughs. When you sneeze or
cough, the germs can travel three feet or more! Cover your mouth and
nose to prevent the spread of infection to others.
Use a tissue! Keep tissues handy at home, at work and in your
pocket. Be sure to throw away used tissues and clean your hands
after coughing or sneezing.
If you don’t have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with the
bend of your elbow or hands. If you use your hands, clean them
If you are sick, avoid close contact with others
If you are sick, stay away from other people or stay home. Don’t
shake hands or touch others.
When you go for medical treatment, call ahead and ask if there’s
anything you can do to avoid infecting people in the waiting
Make sure health care providers clean their hands or wear gloves
Doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care providers come
into contact with a lot of bacteria and viruses. So before they
treat you, ask them if they’ve cleaned their hands.
Health care providers should wear clean gloves when they perform
tasks such as taking throat cultures, pulling teeth, taking
blood, touching wounds or body fluids, and examining your mouth
or private parts. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they should
Get shots to avoid disease and fight the spread of infection
Make sure that your vaccinations are current, even for adults. Check
with your doctor about shots you may need. Vaccinations are available to
prevent these diseases:
(also known as influenza)
measles (also known as Rubella)
cough (also known as Pertussis)
provided by The Joint Commission, Speak Up Campaign. For further
information visit www.jointcommission.org.
Questions about precautions while in the
While in the hospital, you may be placed on special precautions or
notice other patients on precautions. Your nurse will explain any
special measures you or your family may need to take in order to prevent
the spread of infection. In addition, the hospital has an
infection control practitioner available to answer any specific
questions you or your family may have.