Take These Steps to Avoid Getting an Infection When You Receive Health Care « Invisiverse :: WonderHowTo

2022-06-18 22:35:12 By : Ms. Angie Yan

The office of your physician, or your local hospital, is where you go when you need medical care. But it could also be where you could pick up a life-threatening infection.

Most people understand that the use of antibiotics has led to the development of "superbugs," germs that just don't respond like they used to when treated with antibiotics. Although community spread of resistant pathogens is becoming more common, most serious resistant infections are acquired in healthcare settings.

Infections contracted during a hospital stay, or a medical procedure, are called healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The statistics concerning HAIs are troubling; On any day, one of every 25 hospitalized patients has acquired at least one infection simply by being in the hospital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections occur each year, and almost 100,000 people die from infections contracted while being treated for other medical issues.

While these are outrageous numbers, it makes sense that deadly germs are going to reside in facilities that treat seriously ill people. Hospitals are crossroads for pathogens to meet and mingle and create even more powerful infections through the horizontal transfer of genetic material among germs. Despite disinfection protocols, from floors to bedrails, potentially infectious pathogens call hospitals "home."

All this makes a very good argument for staying clear of hospitals, but when you need medical care, hospitals have the specialists and the service that could save your life. The first step to protecting yourself, and loved ones, is knowing what you are up against.

When hospitalized, your immune system is already being challenged by surgery or illness. Types of infections commonly acquired during a hospital stay include:

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Caused by a number of germs, these are serious infections that are frequently associated with hospital equipment, like catheters, that offer dangerous microbes an opportunity to gain a foothold in the body. Three devices commonly associated with HAIs are:

As healthcare organizations and hospitals work to decrease their infection rates through surveillance, disinfection, and safety protocols, there are also ways for hospital patients, their families, and visitors to help lower the risk of HAI.

The best way to keep you and loved ones safe is to assume a heads-up attitude about germs. Microbes are all around us everyday, but the ones in the hospital are substantially more dangerous. So you can do yourself, and others, a service by knowing what to do if you are in a hospital. Consider steps that include:

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There are informative resources to help reduce the chances that you, or someone you love, will become an HAI statistic. We all need medical care at some point. When you need to support a family member in the hospital, do your best to see that they are not discharged in worse shape than they went in.

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