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Infection Control - Research Paper Example

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This paper will seek to explore empirical literature that has handled the problem in the past. It will try to identify some of the discussions presented; implications and suggestions arrived at to be able to get the picture behind the problem…
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Infection Control
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Download file to see previous pages The essay will explore some of the infections, their related causes and how as a medical facility can arrive at prevention of the infection. Infection control has been a topic in discussion for many years. It has been identified that infants and patients under surgical procedures suffers the highest risk of infection hence making surgical wound infection the second largest category of hospital-related infections. For example, Craven et al. found out that in most of Surgical Intensive Care Units (SICU), urinary tract infection, bacteremias and wound infections were major infections around patients. This is due to the antibiotics therapies given to patients, endotrachea tubes, arterial lines, central venous lines, and catheters they are attached to while still in SICU. Many experiments have been conducted to establish causes and magnitude of infections in hospital related infections. The studies have estimated that a quarter of the hospital-acquired infections involve ICU patients and about three quarters are related to microorganisms resistant to antibiotics.
Depending on the type of infection, their frequencies, which are directly related to the effects it has on patients, differ. This difference is highly associated with mortality rate, cost of treatment and danger posed on the practitioners and the patients. Burke (2003) found that, urinary tract infections have the highest frequency of occurrence, lowest mortality rate, and lowest cost. This is followed by surgical sites infections in frequencies but third in cost, and finally pneumonia and bloodstream infections take the lowest frequency with the highest cost and mortality rate. However, frequencies and the magnitude of effect on mortality and cost keep on changing with time. For example, different studies have proved that urinary tract and surgical- site infections have been on decline. This could be due to increased surveillance and reduced stay in hospitals for the patients. Such studies gives a reason as to why the topic on infection control should be looked at more seriously if the world is to acquire minimum hospital-acquired infections. According to Burke (2003), infection control is a significant part of ensuring patient safety. This is because it ensures surveillance in the programs that are directly linked with the infections. The type of surveillance involved has been known to help medical practitioners as well as the patients to be aware of some of the dangers around them. This is attainable when policies on best practice in the medical field are changed to meet the demands of each exposure to infections. For example, policies like patient isolation to prevent nosocomial transmission need to be put in place if a minimum level of hospital related infections would be arrived at. Educating and protecting nurses, preventing transmissions of blood borne disease-causing organisms, ensuring the highest level of hand hygiene and providing practitioners with protective equipments also serves as part of the protective practices. It is important to look at the environment around which the patients receive treatment; they should be free from any infections through regular disinfection of patient care items. Empirical Review Among the infections that have been widely discovered, bloodstream infections (BSI), urinary tract infections (UTI), surgical wound infection (SWI), nosocomial pneumonia, nosocomial bacteremia and surgical sites infection (SSI) take the lead in the order mentioned. They all occur in different frequencies and symptoms though there are some that occur without observable symptoms. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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