Self Care, Safe
We’re not talking about social security income. We’re talking about a surgical site infection.
Many people have surgery without any problems at all. Other people spend months and weeks in a nursing home or an assisted living facility hooked up to an intravenous drip containing heavy-duty antibiotics to control and eliminate an infection.
Infections of surgical sites are serious -- sometimes, they are life-threatening.
These steps start in your own home.
Your doctor may prescribe a dose of antibiotics before your procedure. This practice is common in many hospitals and surgical centers. The type of antibiotic you receive depends on your overall health and medical condition.
If you see something that makes you uncomfortable or something that you don't understand as you are being prepped for surgery, talk to your healthcare providers. They want to make sure you are as comfortable and as confident as possible during your procedure. They don't mind re-washing their hands, changing their gloves, or opening another sterilized equipment kit if it makes you feel more at ease.
Your healthcare providers want you to be comfortable with your care.
Ask everyone to wash their hands as they enter your room. Unless they are caring for you, no one should touch your bandages or dressings. If you change your bandages, always wash your hands before and after you handle dressings or touch your wound.
Even with the best care and hygiene, infections can still happen. When they do, it’s important to recognize them and treat them quickly.
After surgery, it’s customary to have some pain and swelling. But as your recovery continues, your surgical site should feel less tender and appear less swollen. Call your doctor if you experience:
If these symptoms occur after hours, call the on-call provider. Tell him or her when you had surgery and describe your symptoms. Then follow the instructions you are given.
Being proactive with your health and hygiene before and after your surgery can help you avoid an infection or prevent an infection from getting worse.
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