Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) is a term that is now widely used interchangeably with nosocomial infection.

A nosocomial infection is shortened because of a toxin or condition in a definite place, Like a hospital. For an HAI, the disease should not exist before somebody has been taking medical care. In hospitals, the ward where HAIs occur most commonly is ICU (intensive Care Unit). It is because doctors treat the most dangerous disease there. HAI is associated with mortality, morbidity, and hospital cost.

As antibiotic resistance will increase and medical care gets more complex, the cases of HAI will increase automatically. But you can prevent the HAIs in several ways. In this article, I have discussed the prevention of hospital-acquired infection. Read further to know more about it.

Introduction

According to WHO, HAIs are defined as “An infection acquired in hospital by a patient who was admitted for a reason other than that infection.

Infection occurs in a patient in a hospital or other health care facility in whom the condition was not present or incubating at the time of admission.

This includes infections acquired in the hospital but appearing after discharge, and occupational illnesses among the facility staff”.

Symptoms

For HAI, infection is expected to occur:

  • For about 48 hours after entry
  • For almost three days after discharge
  • For nearly 30 days after surgery
  • In the event of hospitalization for a reason other than infectious.

Symptoms of HAIs depend on the type.

The most common types of IAS are:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Infections of Surgical site
  • Meningitis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Pneumonia

Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Discharge from the wound
  • Shortness of breath
  • Burning while urination or difficulty urinating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

People who develop new symptoms during their stay may also be sick and itchy at the site of infection. Many people have visible signs.

Causes

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause HAIs. Bacteria alone account for about 90% of these cases. Many people with a weak immune system are in hospital and are more likely to get infected. The common bacteria causing HAIs are:

  A B
1 Bacteria Type of Infection
2 Enterococci Blood, UTI, Wound
3 Escherichia coli (E. coli) UTI
4 Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) Blood
5  Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) Kidney, UTI, Respiratory

Pseudomonas aeruginosa accounts for 11% of HAIs and is associated with high mortality and morbidity.

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are usually spread by person-to-person contact. This includes dirty hands and medical equipment such as catheters, ventilators, and other hospital equipment. HAI infections also increase with excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics. This can lead to conditions that are resistant to many antibiotics.

Treatment

The treatment for these diseases depends on the type of disease. The doctors in Hospitals of Pakistan may recommend antibiotics and sedatives. Also, remove external devices such as catheters as soon as treatment is needed. To promote healing and prevent dehydration, doctors recommend healthy eating, nutrition, and rest.

Prevention of Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI)

Wash Your Hands

Hand washing should be the basis for reducing HAIs. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap. In addition, people in the facility and all staff members should be encouraged to wash their hands when:

  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Providing care
  • Treating patients.

 Establish a Disease Control Policy

Infectious disease regulations indicate which patients are at risk of getting or contracting HAI. The policy should include information about when patients should be cautious about avoiding contact with other patients and staff.

Diagnose the Disease as soon as possible

Highly contagious diseases, such as Clostridium difficile (c. Diff), should be identified as soon as possible. For example, all patients with diarrhea admitted to the hospital should be tested immediately.

Provide Training on Infection Control

Workers need to know how to identify infectious diseases and prevent their spread. Therefore, organizations must have regular and repeated training in the management of infectious diseases.

Use Gloves

Physicians should not wear gloves when interacting with patients. However, gloves should be worn if there is contact with blood or body fluids.

Provide Appropriate Equipment for Isolation

It includes waterproof clothing, gloves, shoe covers, masks, and face masks. Appropriate isolation equipment should be available if the patient has an infectious disease.

Keep the Surface Clean and Disinfectant

Between patients, all rooms in the hospital should be thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant. This helps prevent the spread of infection when new patients are admitted to the hospital.

Prevent the Patient from Walking without Slippers

Although no one likes to wear shoes when sick, all patients should be encouraged to wear sandals or non-abrasive socks when walking around the hospital.

Change sheets daily and when dirty.

Sheets should be thoroughly disinfected and washed in the laundry room and should not be left on the patient’s bed for long periods.

Store Foods at Room Temperature

Most hospitals and clinics have a refrigerator for patient snacks on the ward. For food safety reasons, the temperature of these products should be checked for any changes. Patients should be encouraged to eat immediately upon arrival.

If you are visiting and one of your loved ones is in one of the Aga Khan Hospital, and you are worried about acquiring HAIs, you should take preventive measures. Or if you are struggling to find the bestHospitals in Pakitan, you can find one through Marham.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1- What is the prevention and control of nosocomial infections?

They can be controlled by applying disease control measures, identifying antibiotics, preventing infections, and applying antibiotics.

2- What are the main modes of transmission of the disease?

The transmission of bacteria can be divided into five modes:

  • Fomites
  • Direct contact
  • Oral (ingestion)
  • Aerosol (airborne)
  • Vector-borne

3- What are the three ways to control the spread of the disease?

These include:

  • Wash your hands and cough manners.
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Safe use and disposal of sharps.
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