April 9, 2014
Health care facilities - whether hospitals, nursing homes or outpatient facilities - can be dangerous places for the acquisition of infections (EHA). The most common type of nosocomial infections are surgical wound infections, respiratory infections, genitourinary infections and gastrointestinal infection (EHA). Nosocomial infections are those that originate or occur in health care setting (Abedon). They can also be defined as those that occur within 48 hours of hospital admission, 3 days of discharge or 30 days of an operation (Inweregbu). These infections are often caused by breaches of infection control practices and procedures, unclean and non-sterile environmental surfaces, and ill employees (EHA). Immunocompromised patients, the elderly and young children are usually more susceptible to these types of infections. Nosocomial infections are transmitted through direct contact from the hospital staff, inadequately sterilized instruments, aerosol droplets from other ill patients or even the food and water provided at the hospital (EHA). The symptoms of nosocomial infections vary by type but may include inflammation, discharge, fever, abscesses, and pain and irritation at the infection site (Stubblefield).
The principle sites of nosocomial infections in patients, in order from most common to least common are: urinary tract, surgical wounds, respiratory tract, skin, blood, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system (Abedon). According to the CDC, the most common pathogens that cause nosocomial infections are Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeurginosa, and Escherichia coli (EHA). Methicillin resistant Staphylococcal aureus (MRSA) is a strain of bacteria that is commonly...
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...evaporated into the air and remains suspended for a period of time (Georgia Pacific). It also occurs with dust particles that contain infectious agents (Georgia Pacific). Once again, if working in close contact of someone that is infected, cover the eyes, nose and mouth if possible to prevent the transmission of infection. Common-vehicle transmission refers to contaminated items such as food, water, medications, devices, and equipment that would transmit the microorganism (Georgia Pacific). Methods of preventing nosocomial infections and breaking the chain of transmission include: observing aseptic technique, frequent hand washing especially between patients, careful handling and disinfection of fomites, use of disposable items, patient isolation, institutional methods such as air filtration within the hospital, and an active oversight within the hospital (Abedon).