7 Tips to Protect Yourself From Germs When Visiting Health Care Centers

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by Wendy Henderson |

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As a cystic fibrosis patient, you will regularly need to visit health care centers, from your doctor’s office to the hospital to the nutritionist. These are all places other patients have visited, which puts you at risk of picking up other people’s germs and for cross-infection.

However, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, there are seven ways that you can prevent the spread of germs and guard yourself against any possible infections.


Keep a Safe Distance From Others

The germs released through coughs and sneezes can travel up to six feet, so it makes sense to put this amount of distance between yourself and other people who may be ill when you’re visiting health care centers.

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Wash Your Hands Regularly

Wash your hands before entering or exiting a hospital or clinic room. If you touch anything that may be shared such as door handles, pens, and other clinical equipment, make sure to wash your hands afterward or use an alcohol-based gel to sanitize your hands.

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Cover Your Mouth When You Cough or Sneeze

As well as not catching other people’s germs, you want to ensure that you’re not spreading your own germs around. Cough or sneeze into a tissue then dispose of the tissue correctly and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue ready, you should try to cough or sneeze into your inner elbow so you’re not spreading germs outwards.

Listen to a Gunnan Esiason podcast about cross-infection risks for cystic fibrosis patients. 


Disinfect Your Nebulizer and Other Equipment While in Hospital

If you have to stay in a hospital it’s important that you keep your nebulizer and any other medical equipment as clean as possible. If using disposable equipment, ensure that it is only used once and then disposed of correctly. Reusable equipment needs to be disinfected after every use, following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

New device tracks cystic fibrosis patients’ use of nebulizers for better adherence. Read more here. 


Get a Flu Shot

The flu vaccination will help you avoid getting the flu, but speak to your healthcare team to find out if there are any other vaccinations you should get to avoid getting infections. Always keep up to date with vaccinations.

Read our ten tips to help you get through the cold and flu season.


Wear a Mask

When in a clinical waiting room or other public area you should ideally be wearing a mask so you don’t breath in the germs of other patients in the clinic. The mask can be removed once you are in your own hospital room or the clinic exam room.

Read about six cystic fibrosis treatments and therapies.


Work With Your Care Team

Work alongside your clinical care team to ensure best practices. you may even be able to suggest to them ways that they can improve on their risk of spreading germs. Your care team will advise you of all the things you need to do to stay safe and avoid germs.

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Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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