Have you heard about HAI? It stands for Healthcare-associated infections. From the term itself, you can have an idea on where and how these infections come from. These infections are contracted in a health care setting. It commonly occurs in hospitals where lots of health workers and patients interact and the frequency of transmitting these infections is high.
These infections are usually caused by bacteria and viruses such as, Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus, M. tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, B and C viruses, Influenza virus and other pathogens. These microorganisms are usually transmitted through inhalation of aerosols or close contact with an infected person, ingestion, or through needle stick injury or entry in an open wound.
But these infections can be easily prevented by practicing safety guidelines to minimize if not to eradicate these infections. The most effective way to do is by hand washing. Hand washing minimizes infectious agents that are transmitted through hand contact. A good hand washing technique is the use of adequate amount of soap to kill microorganisms present, rubbing of hands to thoroughly clean the area and rinsing it under running water is a good technique. Here is an illustration by the Department of Health: HANDWASHING
Among health care personnel, these infections can be prevented by always wearing PPE or personal protective equipment. This usually includes gowns, face masks and sometimes goggles, depending on the hazard of the site where these persons work. Following the universal precaution is another way to prevent pathogens that are present in body fluids especially blood. Needle stick injury is one of the common causes of transmission of blood borne pathogens. Observing proper collection and handling of blood and other body fluids can greatly minimize transmission of these infectious agents.
Another way to prevent the spread of infection is disinfection of working areas, instruments, machines, tools, parts, or other equipment that are frequently used. Microorganisms can easily manifest in these kinds of inanimate objects. Frequent disinfection of these apparatuses can minimize transmission of these harmful agents.
Patients in hospitals are also susceptible to these infections mainly because their immune system is at its weakest point. Surgery site infections are acquired when the proper handling, patient preparation, proper surgical techniques are not observed. Infections can be exogenous or endogenous in nature. Improper surgical team hand preparation, contamination or unsterilized surgical equipments, and contamination by the normal flora of the skin are some of the causes of SSI. Proper aseptic techniques and surgical procedures must be observed to prevent these infections.
To know more about HAI... visit: http://haiwatchnews.com/