HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATED INFECTIONS
Health care associated infections (HAI)
Infections are encountered in all health care settings. It is also called nosocomial infections, hospital acquired infection.
Risk Factors in the development of HAI
Environment:Hospitals, outpatient clinics, extended care facilities, the home, and schools are reservoirs of organisms that pose threats to the increasing number of people who have decreased resistance. Eg: one multicenter sampling study found bacterial growth in 90 of 92 bath basins cultured (98%), indicating a possible source of transmission of HAI( Johnson, Lineweaver, & Maze 2009). Eg.Pneumonia and influenza are the common most infections spread rapidly among patients.
Therapeutic regimen: Multiple factors involved in therapies used to treat patients also can contribute to risk of infection. Drugs such as steroids immunosuppressive agents, and cancer therapy, as well as prolonged use of antibiotics, predispose patients to infection.
Equipment such as IV catheters, urinary catheters, feeding tubes and ventilators provide routes for bacterial and fungal invasion. Eg. Inadequate dressing techniques for wounds can provide media for bacterial growth.
Patient resistance: Changes in the physical or psychological status of a patient can affect his or her resistance to infection. Any break in the integrity of the skin or mucous membranes increases the chance of infection. For example, surgical site infections (SSIs) pose a very serious and common threat to postoperative patients. Eg. Stress, fatigue, poor nutrition and hygiene and chronic illness also decrease the patient’s ability toward off infection by impairing normal defenses.