Nosocomial Infection is an infection that occurs in a hospital of hospital-like setting. Approximately 10% of American hospital patients contract this infection.
There are three factors as to why nosocomial infection exists:
1. A high prevalence of pathogens.
2. A high prevalence of compromised hosts.
3. Efficient mechanisms of transmission from patient to patient.
These three factors alone lead not just to a higher chance of transmission of pathogens within hospitals, but potentially to an evolution of enhanced disease which causes potential among microorganisms present within the hospitals.
There are seven places that nosocomial infections are common in:
1. Urinary Tract.
2. Surgical Wounds.
3. Respiratory Tract.
4. Skin (especially burn areas).
6. Gastrointestinal Tract.
7. Central Nervous System.
The organisms causing most nosocomial infections usually come from the patients own body. They also can come from contact with staff, contaminated instruments and needles, and the environment. Because patients are highly mobile and hospital stays are becoming shorter, patients often are discharged before the infection becomes apparent. Actually, a large number of nosocomial infections in hospital patients and most ambulatory care facilities become apparent only after the patients are discharged. As a result, it is often difficult to determine whether the source of the organism causing the infection is exogenous (produced outside the body). Rates of nosocomial infections are marked higher in many developing countries, especially for infections that are largely preventable ( those following surgical procedures such as cesarean section). In these countries nosocomial infection rates are high because a lack of supervision, poor infection prevention, inappropriate use of limited resources and overcrowding of hospitals.
Nosocomial infections first appear 48 hours or more after hospital admission or within 30 days after discharge. Nosocomial infections are transmitted due to the fact that hospital officials become lazy and do not practice correct hygiene on a regular basis. Also, increased use of outpatient treatment means that people who are hospitalized are more ill and have more weakened immune systems than may have been true in the past. Moreover some medical procedures bypass the body’s natural protective barriers. Since the medical staff moves from patient to patient, the staffs themselves serve as a means for spreading pathogen.
Hospitals have sanitation protocol regarding uniforms, equipment sterilization, washing and other preventative measures. Through hand washing or use of alcohol rubs by all medical personnel before and after each patient contact is one of the most effective ways to combat nosocomial infections. More careful use of anti-microbial agents, such as antibiotics, is also considered vital.
Despite sanitation protocol, patients cannot be entirely isolated from infectious agents. Patients are often prescribed antibiotics and other anti-microbial drugs to help treat illness. The most common nosocomial infections are of hospitalized patients with decreased immunity due to AIDS and/or multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
Most of these infections can be prevented with readily available, relatively inexpensive strategies by:
1. Adhering to recommended infection prevention practices (hand washing and wearing gloves).
2. Paying attention to well-established process for decontamination and cleaning of soiled instruments and other items, followed by either sterilization of high-level disinfection.
3. Improving safety in operating rooms and other high-risk areas where the most serious and frequent injuries and exposures to infectious agents occur.
Unfortunately, not all nosocomial...