Why are hospitals making us sick?

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I bet you didn’t think hospitals may be hazardous to your health. But it’s true: Every year, about 1.7 million patients catch a bug while being treated for something else, and nearly 100,000 of them die from “healthcare-associated infections,” or HAIs.

I’m Kim Fulscher with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

A program is already underway to help fight these HAIs, and new standards have already led to improvement, according to a federal agency. In the meantime, there are a few ways you can protect yourself from catching a bug while under a hospital’s care:

Demand clean hands from nurses, doctors and visitors.

Question whether a needle or syringe has been used on more than one patient.

Ask your doctor how you can help prevent infections before a surgery.

Tell your doctor if you experience discharge, pain, fever or diarrhea, as these may be symptoms of infection.

For more on this and other personal finance topics, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Kim Fulscher.