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How to Prevent the Spread of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Hospitals

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that people catch while receiving medical aid in a healthcare facility. HAIs are caused by bacteria and viruses that are usually picked up during different point-of-contacts during hospital stay from infected surfaces called fomites, contaminated medical devices or inefficient sanitization procedures. HAIs can affect the urinary tract, chest, wounds, bloodstream, etc. The risk of infection is something that cannot be eliminated entirely and it varies from one patient to the other.

The route of microorganism’s transmission mainly happens due to direct contact with the infected person, aerosol or airborne, fomites, vector-borne, and ingestion.

There are several precautions one can do before and during the treatment that will help reduce the chance of acquiring an infection.

Risk factors

The factor that may increase the risk of acquiring an HAI includes:

Prolonged stay in hospitals could increase the chances of acquiring Healthcare-associated infection when admitted multiple times or for complex disease.
It can also be a result of lengthy surgery or divergent surgery that amplifies the risk of HAI
Skin conditions that include wounds, burns, ulcers, surgical cuts are among those that are more prone to acquire the infection.
Inadequate or poor hand hygiene practices by the staff members of the hospital and also of patients may increase the risk of HAI.
Severe procedures are conducted in hospitals that involve bypass - that conventionally enter the protective layer and thus surge the possibility of infection, namely – Urinary Catheters, Drain Tubes, IV Cannulas, etc.

How to prevent Healthcare-Associated Infection

Before getting admitted to the hospital there are certain things a patient can undertake that will in the due course help him to reduce the odds of getting HAI:

Avoid Smoking

Normally, smoking hinders the healing processes when one has recently gone through surgery. It damages the airways which sooner or later increases the chances of getting a chest infection. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight – neither underweight or overweight.

Recent Illness

It is important to inform the doctor about your existing conditions and illness – before getting into any sort of surgery or treatment, make the staff members aware if you have any cold or flu. If you have diabetes, then make certain about your blood sugar levels.

Maintain Cleanliness

Maintain transparency with the medical staff and nurse about the equipment, gloves, face shield, gowns, masks, and other tools if they are isolation appropriate and protective enough. Make sure with them if they have cleaned their hands and washed the sheets before. It has been found that most healthcare professionals forget to wear gloves while interacting with patients, as they for the most part come in contact with blood, fluids, sheets, trash and can contribute to spreading the infection.

It is also necessary for the patient to wash their hands often with soap or sanitiser – after using the washroom, before having food, or after touching anything that could play a role in spreading the infection. It is equally essential to cover your mouth with a mask when you sneeze or cough in public places and would be appropriate to not entertain relatives and family members who are unwell and infected.

Concerns with Urinary Catheter

Patients usually keep struggling with the discomfort of the inserted urinary catheter and still hesitate to express soreness, aches, and pain. Therefore, it's important to inform your nurse or medical staff about your irritation problems - tubes and catheters if they feel displaced from their place if there is any burning in the urethra or leaking of urine. Maintain transparency with your medical staff and doctor to eradicate such complications and risk signs associated with the catheter.

Considering everything, be aware of your health conditions, live a lifestyle that keeps you healthy and strengthens your immunity naturally. Eat a healthful diet, create a balanced routine for exercise and meditation, engage yourself in a stress reduction program. When these habits are developed, your immune system may get better to defend against mild community-spread infections.

Click here to know more about Weinnovate Biosolutions and their work in infection prevention.

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