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Hospitals Ban Visitors From Sitting On Beds and Bringing Flowers 9

Posted by samzenpus
from the healing-at-a-distance dept.
Dr. Iona Heath has criticized rules that prevent doctors or visitors from sitting on patients' beds, calling them "demeaning" and "joyless." Some hospitals have also banned flowers in an attempt to reduce MRSA infections. The UK Department of Health says such rules are determined by individual hospitals, but thinks such policies are good. Dr. Heath says that there is, "no hard evidence for either of these demeaning prohibitions. Doctors should never be discouraged from sitting, because patients consistently estimate that they have been given more time when the doctor sits down rather than stands. Such interactions are precious and should be made easier rather than more difficult."

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Hospitals Ban Visitors From Sitting On Beds and Bringing Flowers

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  • A doctor's bedside manner is an important part of patient recovery. Familiarity, in this instance at least, builds trust and confidence, not contempt, and a patient's confidence in their doctor has a lot to do with whether or not they get well, as well as the speed of any recovery.

    The above more than balances out the risk of infection.

  • We now get MRSA from foliage? Thats a new one to me. Would you mind showing your work?

    They'll do more good to ban the doctors' neckties than this load of rubbish.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/25/health/main619496.shtml [cbsnews.com]

     

    • This article [medscape.com] suggests that Clostridium difficile spores (mentioned in TFA) can be found "on hospital items such as over-bed tables, side curtains, lab coats, scrubs, plants and cut flowers, computer keyboards (especially computers on wheels), bedpans, furniture, toilet seats, linens, telephones, stethoscopes, jewelry, diaper pails, and under fingernails."

      As flowers can not be cleaned and disinfected as easily as the other surfaces mentioned, this seems like a reasonable preventative measure to me.
      • By what you said, they're essentially everywhere, so removing flowers is making a marginal difference at best.

        Two, flowers don't need to be disinfected. They're a disposable item.

        • It sounds like the general idea here is to make a concerted effort to limit a patient's exposure to items and surfaces that could harbor potential pathogens. A table, for example, can be disinfected prior to any patient contact; flowers cannot.
  • Whilst visiting my father after he suffered a brain aneurysm (he could only speak in his native Lithuanian) and sitting on the bed next to him, the nurse got angry with me as I was sitting on the unused bed next to him. "Every time you sit on that bed, we have to change the sheets" said she, I wondered just what it was that she was angry about (this was 1998). Apparently, my buttocks passed a dangerous MRSA to the bed every time I sat on it. How Was I to know?

  • I assume someone's telling the gift shops to stop selling flowers--or as they're called among the medical staff in oversensitive hospitals: Death Weed.
  • I don't know if flowers really pose a significant MRSA risk. However, most hospitals I've been around in the last 15 years seemed to ban flowers over concerns about allergies. Even ignoring allergies, I find the smell of some flowers unpleasant and defiantly not something I'd want to be smelling when sick. So, at least for shared rooms, I approve of flower bans.

    (Of course, maybe the metallized nylon balloon lobby had something to do with this also.)

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