Essay on Reduce the Risk of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Healthcare facilities are not thought of areas in which one can get sick or contract an illness while a patient’s stay. They are thought to be the best place to heal although this is true it must be considered that there are many infectious a patient can develop during their stay.
Many of the infections acquired at a health facility can be dangerous due that they can be resistant to many antibiotics. Because these infections are not easily treatable they can become life threatening, three of these infections are Acinetobacter baumannii, Norovirus and Burkholderia cepacia.
Acinetobacter baumannii is an infection caused by the Acinetobacter bacteria which is an aerobic and Gram-negative bacterium. A. baumannii is found to a limited degree of soil, water, sewage, animals, humans and produce for human consumption. A. baumannii is tolerant to wide ranges of temperature, pH and humidity. It can survive on a dry surface for 5 months which can be a challenge for the hospital’s infection control measures.
A. baumannii can be sound in ventilator tubing, suction catheters, humidifiers, improperly sterilized arterial pressure transducers among other equipment. It can cause nosocomial pneumonia, urinary tract infections, surgical site infections and other wound infections. This type of infections is more prone to happen in critically ill people. Some risk factors that play part in acquiring this infection are advance age, major trauma or burns, invasive procedures, ventilators among others. An Acinetobacter baumannii infection can be prevented by optimal and thorough hand hygiene by the hospital’s staff, cleaning medical equipment meticulously and routinely, as well as doing an environmental disinfection to prevent further contamination to other areas.
Norovirus infection, a norovirus is a nonenveloped virus that is positive sense single-stranded RNA. An infection caused by a norovirus is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping that can last from 2 to 3 days. The symptoms can be affected by the age of the person who has contracted the infection, it can become lethal to children, elderly and those already with low immune systems due to receiving treatment. This infection can cause both acute gastroenteritis and gastroenteritis infections.
The norovirus is transmitted by fecal -oral route by many ways of transportations such as person to person or ingesting contaminated food or water. Although the norovirus may be ingested there is a possibility that a disease may not result from this. By practicing proper hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces, and thoroughly washing contaminated clothing are ways in which the transfer of the norovirus can be prevented. Health care staff or individuals that are attending those who are infected should immediately remove any clothing contaminated with vomit or feces from the patient to prevent a transfer of the infection.
It is necessary for an area that has been contaminated with vomit or being frequently touched by the patient with norovirus to be immediately cleaned and disinfected with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disinfectant that has been label for norovirus. Another preventative measure is the use of gowns and gloves when in contact with a patient that present the symptoms related to the norovirus.
Burkholderia cepacia is an infection that mainly occurs in patients that suffer from cystic fibrosis. It is caused by B. Cepacia, a name used for a group or “complex” of bacteria that can be found in soil and water, these bacteria are often resistant to antibiotics. Although a person may have this infection they may not present any symptoms, but others may present respiratory infections. B. Cepacia can be transmitted by contaminated medication and devices. Its transmission can also include person to person contact, contact with contaminated surfaces or exposure in the environment. B. Cepacia can be colonized in breathing tubes or ventilators.
B. cepacia can cause serious respiratory problems, it can as well develop in to cepacia syndrome, which can be life threatening. Ways in which we can avoid the transmission of Burkholderia cepacia are the proper hand washing procedure, limit the contact with a person who has cystic fibrosis, the proper disinfection of medical devices and surfaces.
Infections acquired at healthcare facilities are very serious because of the ability of the bacteria or virus has to develop resistance to antibiotics or medication. Therefore it is necessary for patients, medical staff and visitors to follow proper handwashing procedures. For health care facility’s staff it is important to maintain a clean environment, as for the CS department it is important to understand what organisms are able to cause these infections to take the proper precautions when cleaning and disinfecting medical equipment. It is important to understand what are these infections and what causes them to be able to have procedures to prevent further transmission.
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