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Prevention of the dangers facing hospitals - Research Paper Example

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Prevention of Dangers Facing Hospitals 1.0 Introduction Hospitals comprise one of the oldest institutions in the world. Their history dates back to as early as the birth of civilization and medicine. From the accounts of medical anthropologists, hospitals existed in antiquity in Egypt and India…
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Download file to see previous pages To date, health care is primary domestic priority among Americans, and their top financial concern deals with the skyrocketing costs of health care (Newport, Jones, Saad, Gallup & Israel, 2009). In fact, 16 per cent of the US gross national product goes to health care. It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that health care is “a principal issue in the national consciousness of Americans” (Griffin, 2011, p. 3). Ironically, however, Sultz and Young (2011) observed that while the American health care system prioritized health promotion and disease prevention, health care expenses tend to be concentrated on treating what are otherwise preventable diseases. Moreover, it was revealed not too long ago that hospitals are not really the safest place in America, and perhaps around the world, with 48,000 deaths each year reported due to hospital acquired infections (DeNoon, 2010). There is even a big possibility that incidences of hospital acquired infections are not reported as intimated by some medical experts (Doyle, 2011). Infections are just one of the many dangers which put both patients and medical practitioners at risk. Other possible sources of danger in hospitals are direct physical hazards and malfunction of medical electrical devices, exposure to medical radiation, health hazards of mobile phones, human errors, medication errors, unsanitary practices, etc. (Leitgeb, 2010; Peart 2010; Mennen, 2005; Raheja, 2011; Pozgar 2007). Cognizant of such dangers which directly and / or indirectly threaten the safety of patients confined in a hospital or those simply availing of out-patient services, an attempt will be made to propose interventions and courses of action to avoid these two sources dangers in the hospital. Interventions will be framed on the premise of avoiding those which can be prevented, and mitigating the effects of those which are not preventable. 2.0. Available technology 2.1. Air-borne infection Cursue, Popa, Sirbu, and Popa (2009) supports the benefits of engineering control measures for the reduction of the concentration of airborne infections. Prevention of the spread of such particles in a structure lessens contact with infectious pathogens, as well as the threat of illness from this kind of pathogens. However, engineering controls comprise only one-third of the necessary control elements towards the mitigation risks from airborne infections in health care settings. As explained in Atkinson, Chartier, Pessoa-Silva, Jensen, Li, and Seto (2009), transmission of airborne infections happens by the spreading of droplet nuclei over a long distance from an infected patient. A number of necessary factors are met for the dissemination of droplet nuclei. These are: (1) presence of viable pathogen inside the droplet at the source of the infection; (2) survival of the pathogen inside the droplet after expulsion from its source, and preservation of its ability to cause infection even after being exposed to evaporation, light, temperature, relative humidity, and / or other physical challenges; (3) reaching a specific infective dose sufficient to infect a susceptible host, and (4) exposure or contact of the droplet to a susceptible host. The Word Health Organization (2007, as cited in Atkinson, et al, 2009) maintained that preventing the spread of airborne infections involves the implementation of the so-called airborne precautions. This is realized with the setting of the following forms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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