Wash Those Hands!

How doctors and nurses can make you sick--and what you can do about it

Nearly 10% of Americans who are admitted to a hospital pick up an infection while they are there. Sometimes the culprit is a germ that they've brought with them to the hospital--typically some bacteria on the skin that follow the path of a needle or catheter into the body. But most hospital infections are transmitted from one patient to another by doctors, nurses and other health-care workers. No, doctors and nurses aren't carrying around vials of disease-causing bugs and cracking them open at bedside. Often the germs are hitching a ride on the hands of hospital workers.

The results can...

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