Preventing Infections Starts in YOUR Hands

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preventing Infections Starts in YOUR Hands

Baltimore Washington Eye Center offered thoughts about why preventing infections may start in your hands with the precautions we all take. As the Nurse Manager for the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) at Baltimore Washington Eye Center I find, as any other managers do, that I have many hats to wear.  One of those hats is as Infection Preventionist.  Germs make a difficult adversary. They hide in so many places. We really need to be diligent in our efforts to minimize the potential for infections. Soon we will be entering the flu season and it seems a good time to think about those things we can do to help prevent infections from occurring.  The first I can’t stress enough. Clean Hands, Clean Hands, Clean Hands!  Hands are the #1 source of most of our infections. For those of you who have seen the movie, “Contagion” you know what I’m talking about.  I’ll say no more or I’ll have to do a spoiler alert.  Everyone should practice good hand hygiene every day.  Sing Happy Birthday to yourself as you wash your hands to help be sure that you are scrubbing your hands for an appropriate length of time to get them clean…and don’t forget about scrubbing around the nails…lots of nasty bacteria like to hide there.

One of the many procedures that we do in our Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) is cataract surgery.  We are very proud that our procedures flow flawlessly from the start of surgery throughout the recuperation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take extra precautions to prevent infections.  Our doctors insist on our patients using antibiotic drops anywhere from 3 to 7 days pre-operatively so you stand a better chance of not having any post-operative infections.  And, as many of you may already know, the drops continue for several weeks.  We take no chances.  But the patients are a big part of this program because before you use your eye drops, it is very important to……guess what???...WASH YOUR HANDS!  There are some pretty nasty germs you can transfer to your eye.  Once you have chosen to have your eye surgery done at our center, why take the risk of causing an infection when the solution is so easy. 

Of course, there are other things you can do to help yourself stave off infection this winter.  Get your flu shot.  Most doctors and pharmacy type facilities are offering the flu vaccine as early as September.  All of our staff in the ASC will receive a flu shot annually so we can try to stay healthy for our patients.  Remember to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and try not to sneeze into your hand.  Use the crook of your arm or your shoulder to catch those germs and keep your hands clean.  Carry the convenient to use small bottles of hand sanitizers with you to use in public places where hand-washing isn’t immediately available.  We keep hand sanitizers located throughout Baltimore Washington Eye Center for staff and patients to use.  If you don’t see one, just ask any staff member and they will be happy to locate one for your use.

We care about your health and your eyes at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.  Stay happy and healthy for the rest of the year!

Guest Blogger: Katie Guglietta R.N., ASC Manager at Baltimore Washington Eye Center
If you or someone you know wishes to learn more about preventing infection please contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.