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Safety Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

5 Precautions for Hospital Patients and Visitors to Heed

By Staff Editor
May 4, 2017 - 10:34:44 AM

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– The last thing a patient should have to worry about is a hospital-acquired infection (HAI), courtesy of a family member or friend. In recognition of World Hand Hygiene Day, May 5, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) offers five hand-hygiene tips every hospital patient and their visitor should follow.

  • After touching something (such as bed rails, bedside tables, doorknobs, TV remotes, or the phone), try not to touch your face; rub your eyes, nose or mouth; or touch an open cut or wound.
  • Do not handle your cell phone while staying in the hospital or visiting a patient unless the phone has been properly sanitized.
  • When thinking about hugging or holding your loved one's hands for comfort, be sure that both you and your loved one wash your hands with soap or an alcohol-based (at least 60 percent) sanitizer first. A note of caution: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill all germs, and in particular do not kill C. difficile, which can cause diarrhea.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients and visitors should be sure to wash their hands before preparing food or eating; before and after touching a wound or changing bandages; after using the restroom; after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing; and after touching hospital surfaces.
  • Patients should feel comfortable asking healthcare providers to wash their hands before examining them.

According to the World Health Organization, hand hygiene is the primary way to reduce healthcare-associated infections.1

For the health of both patient and visitors, clean hands help save lives.

To learn more, visit these resources:

CDC Handwashing Guidelines

Clean Hands Count video:

How to Maintain Cell Phone Hygiene Without Damaging Your Phone:

How Germy Is Your Phone?

Center for Transforming Healthcare (CTHC)

CTHC - Hand Hygiene Project



About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing more than 50,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals. For more information, visit and and follow @aanawebupdates on Twitter.


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