HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATED INFECTIONS: A HAZARD TO PUBLIC HEALTH
Dr. Laigy Mariam Mathias, Dr. Leemol Lalu and Dr. Mable Marion*
Healthcare associated infection (HAI) is localized or systemic condition resulting from adverse reaction to the presence of infectious agent or its toxins acquired from healthcare settings that was not incubating or symptomatic at the time of admission to the healthcare facility. HAI is increasingly becoming a major global public health problem posing great threat to patient safety and wellbeing of healthcare providers. HAIs include Surgical Site Infections(SSI), Ventilator Associated Pneumonia(VAP), Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI), Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections(CAUTI), Methicillin Resistant S. aureus (MRSA), clostridium difficile infections. HAIs have significant consequences on patients, their families, and the community as a whole. The most common consequences of HAIs are increased morbidity, mortality, and length of hospitalization. Such consequences contribute substantially to raise both the direct and indirect cost of the health care services, which result in additional costs to treat infected cases. Infection control in hospitals and their ICUs is extremely challenging. Infection control professionals (ICPs) play a critical role in leading HAI-reduction interventions, and are responsible for the implementation and ongoing management of such interventions across hospitals and their ICUs. Proper education and training of health care workers increases compliance with and adoption of best practices to prevent HAIs. Despite the development of many hi-tech methods, hand washing with soap and water or alcohol rub is still the most important means of maintaining personal hygiene and preventing HCAIs. We performed a MEDLINE search using combination of keywords such as hospital associated infection, ventilator associated pneumonia, surgical site infections, central line associated blood stream infections, intensive care units. We reviewed the relevant publications with regard to VAP, SSI and CLABSI. We selected 35 relevant publications with some important cross references from the list of publications. The aim of this review conducted was to estimate the incidence, the major related risk factors, outcomes for acquiring VAP, SSI and CLABSI in various hospitals. This helps to provide a standardized tool for hospitals to identify target areas for quality improvement.
Keywords: HAI is increasingly becoming a major global public health problem posing great threat to patient safety and wellbeing of healthcare providers.
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