Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are those acquired in a healthcare facility while under treatment for other ailments. Remember that these infections can lead to serious illness or even death.
These infections are often linked with medical or surgical procedures in which devices such as ventilators or catheters are needed. Luckily, these infections can be prevented.
Healthcare-associated infections occur in nursing homes, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care facilities, dialysis centers and other healthcare facilities.
The usual factors that increases the risk for acquiring the infections include:
- Catheter or ventilator
- Diseases that spreads between healthcare workers to patients or from one patient to another
- Facilities that do not observe strict hygienic or sanitation practices
Management of healthcare-associated infections
Healthcare-associated infections can trigger ailments ranging from minor to serious and life-threatening. The treatment is based on the infection involved. Some cases respond to the chosen antibiotics.
Nevertheless, in some cases, the infections are hard to treat due to their resistance to the antibiotics. Understandably, the best treatment for these infections is no other than prevention.
- The doctor should be consulted on what to do to stay safe from the infection.
- Those who are exposed or required to touch the individual must ensure that their hands are thoroughly clean.
- The individual should ask the doctor on how to prevent infection during and after surgery. Additionally, the individual should also ask on how to prepare for surgery to lower the risk for infection.
- The individual should ask about the tests to be done to ensure that the right antibiotic is given.
- The individual must be familiar with the indications of skin infection such as drainage, redness or pain around the surgical or catheter insertion sites. These indications are usually accompanied by fever. The doctor should be informed right away if any of these symptoms are present.
- Get a flu shot and other important vaccinations to avoid future complications.
- Monitor for diarrhea which might be deadly with the C. difficile infection. If the individual has diarrhea 3 times or more within 24 hours, the doctor should be informed especially if an antibiotic is being taken.