Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keeping Our Families Healthy by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

Have you ever gone to the Doctor's office and wondered if you are the only one who washes your hands? Then you go home again and wash and wash your hands, because you know you've been exposed to something awful? You count down the days, and finally after seven or ten days you feel you're safe; and BAM! you come down with a mystery illness that takes months to cure.

What about the week-end trek to the emergency room? You find yourself sitting in a room full of people who are hacking, coughing, sneezing, and sniffling, and you think, I'm gonna be sicker than I am now in another week. You bring in your alcohol wipes, your big name antiseptic wipes, and still you come down with a mystery disease.

The mystery diseases that I'm speaking of are clinically called Healthcare-Associated Infections or (HAIs). During the H1N1 pandemic, these secondary diseases, which are often unresponsive to antibiotics, were prowling the hospital corridors, by the unwashed hands of caring professionals and the grimy surfaces that we all come in contact with. They are pervasive and insidious illnesses, and they just might kill you.

I was scared to death during the panic of H1N1. Yes, I'm an asthmatic and diabetic, which made me six times more likely to die of the flu, but my biggest fear was HAIs. I wanted to arm myself with a bottle of bleach, and wipe down every surface in my doctor's office and (lucky me) the emergency room. I'm glad that I made it through. However HAIs are still out there, making their rounds from patient to patient, and even though most hospitals FAILED (probably yours) an infectious disease sweep by the CDC, still there are few hospitals that see a need to change.

Well, there is good news. Kimberly Clark is leading the way with a new initiative watch dog group called, of all things, The HAI Watchdog Community, and they invite you to join. It's about time someone watched out for all of us, who want to keep ourselves and our families healthy and safe. This is a good thing. The new website can be found at the following link:

I invite you to check out the HAI website and see for yourselves. Consider joining and become informed. This is an opportunity for all of us to be a part of something that we've all become concerned about: healthcare which actually takes care of us, our families, and our community. I intend to join for a healthier tomorrow for my family. I hope that you will too.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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