Hospital Acquired Infections: A Literature Review

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Introduction/Review of Literature
Hospital acquired infections (HAI), also known as healthcare associated infections or nosocomial infections, are infections transmitted to patients while in a hospital or other healthcare facility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), there were approximately 722,000 patients suffering from hospital acquired infections in the United States in 2011 of whom 75,000 suffered fatalities. Accordingly, hospital acquired infections accounted for more deaths in 2011 than the 32,367 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents combined with the 41,374 fatalities from breast cancer in 2011 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014, September; U.S Department of Transportation,
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Hospital acquired infections are particularly challenging because many of these infections have developed antibiotic resistance (Pollack, 2010; Rosenberg, 2015). However, most hospital acquired infections are preventable through a variety of techniques, including the use of hand washing, equipment sterilization, use of gloves, sanitizing surfaces, among other things (Mehta et al., 2014; Monistrol, Calbo, Riera, Nicolas, Font, Freixas, & Garau, 2012; U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2015). The key here is consistency, and a hospital culture committed to reducing and even eliminating hospital acquired …show more content…
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are five instances that always require appropriate hand hygiene in order to prevent transmission of hospital acquired infections from healthcare professionals to patients—two times before touching and three times after touching the patient. The first is before touching the patient in any way with one’s hands; the second is before performing aseptic procedures; the third is after being exposed to a patient’s body fluid in order to minimize the risk of transferring the patient’s germs; the fourth is after touching the patient—also to minimize patient’s germs from transfer; and the fifth is after touching anything in the patient’s surroundings (Mehta et al., 2014; Monistrol et al., 2012). The methodology for hand washing recommended with respect to handling of body fluid is washing hands with soap and water and then vigorously scrubbing for at least 15 seconds and then drying thoroughly with a paper towel, disposing of the towel immediately afterwards. It is further recommended that all jewelry be removed before hand washing and not worn when in patient contact. Moreover it is recommended that fingernails should be trim with

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