Environmental Factors And Risks Of Healthcare Acquired Infections

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Healthcare acquired infections, or HAIs, are preventable infections that a patient obtains while receiving treatment for another infection or surgical condition. These types of infections can occur in a variety of clinical care settings such as acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, dialysis facilities, outpatient care, and long-term care facilities. HAIs can be caused by the use of medical devices such as catheters, central lines, or ventilators, and by surgical procedures. In fact, 1 out of every 25 hospitalized patients becomes affected by an HAI. (4) There are several types of pathogens capable of causing healthcare acquired infections. Gram-negative bacteria are known for causing infections in the bloodstream, pneumonia, wound …show more content…
Some factors that may increase a patient’s risk of infection include the patient’s susceptibility, environmental factors, and bacterial resistance. A patient’s age, immune status, and current treatments greatly influence these factors. Extremely young or older patients with a lower immunity are more susceptible to infection, as well as, patients that are already being treated with long-term, high doses of antibiotics. Environmental factors that can contribute to a higher risk of infections are crowded conditions where patients are in close contact with one another or overworked staff not following proper infection prevention techniques. Failing to clean high-traffic, common areas regularly can increase infection rates within a facility. Also, failing to clean patient rooms properly and thoroughly between patients, as well as, the equipment used to administer care are guaranteed ways to spread infections between patients. …show more content…
80% of HAIs are caused by indwelling catheters which cause urinary tract infections that can lead to bacteremia and death. Healthcare acquired-pneumonia is mostly a concern to patients on ventilators and those admitted into intensive care units because they are already immunocompromised and it has a high fatality rate. HA-pneumonia occurs in 3% of hospitalized patients a day. Healthcare acquired-surgical site infections can extend a patient’s length of stay in a healthcare facility anywhere from three to twenty days. Patients that are at a high risk for these types of infections have a limited surgical intervention options resulting in the physician having to find alternative treatment methods. Skin and soft tissue infections, such as burns and bedsores, provide an ideal environment for bacteria to establish themselves and begin to reproduce. These types of infections have a high risk for developing into systemic infections which can become life-threatening.

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