It is the professional responsibility of doctors, nurses, and medical technicians working at health care facilities to ensure that patients are provided with a clean and safe hospital environment. Infections used to be considered an unavoidable risk when patients were hospitalized. However, studies have shown that rates of hospital acquired infections can be reduced when reasonable care to ensure cleanliness and policies that promote sanitary conditions are enforced.
What are some of the causes of hospital acquired infections?
There are some individuals who are more prone to contracting infections. Infections include those that result from healthcare negligence. Individuals who are at the greatest risk of contracting hospital acquired infections include the very young, very old, or patients with immune systems that have already been compromise.
Infections can be caused when:
- Failure of medical staff to engage in healthy hygiene practices, such as washing hands and sterilizing the medical equipment;
- Open wound contamination;
- Routine surgeries; and
- Incorrect IV and catheter use.
What are the types of hospital acquired infections?
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common hospital acquired infections to contract. These commonly occur when catheters have been placed inside the bladder. This will often occur after a surgery or other procedure has been performed so that the patient can empty his or her bladder.
If an unsterile catheter has been placed into the patent, bacteria can be introduced into the bladder. A urinary tract infection can be caused by these bacteria. If a patient is taking antibiotics or suffers from a weak immune system, they may be prone to urinary tract infections.
Another possible infection that can be caused by healthcare professionals is pneumonia. This may be caused when bacteria is introduced to the respiratory system by the instruments used during the procedures.
Surgical infections can also be caused by negligence in healthcare. Surgeries may be performed with unsterile equipment, causing bacteria to grow inside the patient or on a wound, causing an infection.
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