DEAR ABBY: The letter about nurses and doctors not washing their hands before touching a patient is so true. I got a severe cut on my hand, which required a trip to the emergency room. I was placed in a cubicle next to another patient, with only a drape in between. The doctor examined the person next to me and I heard him say, "Boy! That's some rash you have." When he was finished with him, he parted the curtain, came to me and said, "You need stitches."
I said, "Would you please wash your hands before you touch me?" He did. Abby, why did I have to tell him?
Thank you for the article. I hope everyone reads it -- especially doctors and hospital personnel. -- MADELINE IN NEWARK, N.J.
DEAR MADELINE: People promptly responded to that letter, and some of their letters -- like yours -- were eyebrow-raising. Read on for a sample:
DEAR ABBY: On Nov. 5, 1999, I went into the hospital for an estimated four-day stay for surgery on my lower spine. Four months later I am still bed-bound due to a staph infection.
I was sent home with drainage so bad the dressings were soaked in about half an hour. Nurses come to my home daily to change the bandages. I needed four pints of blood to replace the blood I had lost. I've had to return to the hospital and have the wound opened, flushed and drained twice. The second time it could not be closed with stitches or staples.
One of the nurses who cared for me didn't wear a mask or use rubber gloves, and she constantly sneezed and coughed while changing the dressings. -- ANNE IN PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.