Nosocomial infections and causes
What is Nosocomial infection
Illnesses that result from INFECTION acquired in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or other health-care facility. The PATHOGEN is typically bacterial, viral, or fungal. Many pathogens that cause nosocomial infections are resistant to common methods of treatment.
The most common causes of nosocomial infections are
- invasive procedures ranging from intravenous (IV) lines and urinary catheters to surgery
- environmental factors such as air-conditioning and heating systems that harbor and distribute pathogens
- poor hygiene practices by staff (inadequate HAND WASHING, improper disposal of contaminated items)
- inappropriate separation of patients (such as medical patients roomed with surgical patients)
The risk for acquiring a nosocomial infection correlates directly to the length of time the person remains in the hospital or care facility-the longer the stay, the greater the risk. About 2 million people acquire nosocomial infections in the United States each year. Prevention efforts include improved infection control procedures and education for hospital and care facility staff.