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Infection Prevention

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Stopping the spread of germs and preventing infections is the goal of UPMC’s Infection Prevention and Control Program. We take steps to prevent germs and infections from traveling from patient to patient, from patient to staff and visitors, or from staff to patients and visitors.

Here are some important steps you — and your visitors — can take:

  • Wash your hands. It’s the most important thing you can do to stop the spread of germs and infections. Use soap and water to wash your hands if you touch surfaces contaminated with blood or body fluids, bedpans, dressings, or other soiled items, and after using the bathroom or bedpan. Hand sanitizer may be used if your hands are not visibly soiled. Hand washing sinks and hand sanitizer dispensers are readily available throughout UPMC.
  • Discourage visitors who are sick. If your family or friends are feeling ill, please ask them not to come to the hospital to visit.
  • Expect precautions. Our health care workers will wear gloves, gowns, masks, or eye protection if needed while caring for you in the hospital. These are “standard precautions” used to protect all patients and staff from germs and infections. Sometimes “special precautions” are necessary to prevent infection. If these precautions are necessary, your family and other visitors may be required to wear gloves, gowns, masks, or eye protection to keep everyone safe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose. Practicing proper respiratory etiquette is a great way to prevent the spread of germs. Don’t use your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve (elbow). Always wash your hands after you cough or sneeze.

We want your stay to be as pleasant as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about infection control, hand washing, standard or special precautions, please ask your nurse or doctor. If you’d like to contact Infection Prevention and Control, please inform your nurse.​