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Halls of Medicine

Here's some tidbits on medical care, courtesy of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids.

Infections caught in hospitals kill about 48,000 Americans a year.

A CDC study found that soap and water tackled germs better than disinfectants.

Studies suggest that proper hand washing could reduce hospital infection rates by up to 50 percent.

The U.S. Navy has two hospital ships: Mercy and Comfort.

About 25 percent of veterans admitted to VA psychiatric hospitals are homeless.

Sick people in Switzerland are hospitalized longer than those in many other countries: more than nine days, on average.

A survey asked nurses if they’d willingly choose to be a patient in their own hospitals— 38 percent said “absolutely not.”

According to a British study, hospital admissions rise by up to 52 percent on Friday the 13th.

In the 12th century, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, head doctor of the Roman Catholic Church, forbade the monks in his hospitals from studying medical texts and prohibited the use of any remedy but prayer.

Originally, Blue Shield covered doctors’ fees, and Blue Cross covered the expenses of a hospital stay. In most states, the two merged in 1982.

In an average year, influenza causes 114,000 hospital admissions in the United States. (Of these, 36,000 die.)

Births in hospitals instead of at home are a relatively new thing. The first president born in a hospital was Jimmy Carter in 1924.

To choose the healthiest location for a hospital in ninth-century Baghdad, physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (pictured) hung pieces of meat at possible sites. The location where the meat stayed freshest the longest was the one he chose.

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The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids. Weighing in at over 400 pages, it's a fact-a-palooza of obscure information.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!


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I had to separate infections, one caused by a kitten's tooth breaking the skin on my arm and the other, a dog's claw cut my arm. I cleaned them, and put on Neosporin, but the infections were so bad I had to go to the ER. The second time, an infectious disease specialist told me not to mess with antibiotics, just wash thoroughly and often with soap and hot water. No more infections!
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