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Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:00 AM

Radiocast: Safer Surgery Reducing Your Risk of Infections

Rand: This is Healthcare 411, information for better health. Having surgery? You should know people undergoing surgery are at higher risk for health care-associated infections. But you can reduce your risks. AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy has tips.

Dr. Clancy: Nearly 2 million patients experience a health care-associated infection every year in the United States. It may not be possible to completely eliminate all risks of health care-associated infections, but dramatic improvements are possible. A very simple step is making sure you wash your hands. And feel free to ask hospital staff to do the same thing before and after they provide you care, such as checking your bandages after a surgery. I encourage patients to be their own advocate, to ask questions and to be involved in their care.

Rand: To learn more about this and dozens of other health topics, go to healthcare411.ahrq.gov. Healthcare 411 is produced by AHRQ, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I'm Rand Gardner for Healthcare 411.

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