Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Constitutes Sanitation in Hospitals?

You would think that the most sanitary place on Earth would be in the center of a hospital. Recent studies show that millions of people, worldwide, are becoming ill from "healthcare associated infections."

Healthcare associated infections afflict thousands of patients, every year.

"HAI often leads to lenghtening hospitalization, increasing the likelihood of readmission, and adding sizably to the cost of care per patient," said Jeff Moskovitz in his Elder Care Blog.

These are illnesses that are developed within a hospital or healthcare facility. They are not previously accounted for.

HAIs are caused from the moment a patient walks into a hospital, to their treatment of another condition, until this new HAI is discovered and treated.

Healthcare associated infections can appear in an array of forms. They can appear in the form of an infection or as pneumonia.

Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) occurs when the mechanical ventilation given to patients is compromised.

CDCs National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System reported, in 2002, that patients receiving this method of oxygen provision had 6.21 times the risk of developing pneumonia.

Another type of an HAI is surgical site infection.

According to Kimberly-Clark Healthcare, "surgical site infections can result in up to $10 billion in treatment costs in the U.S. alone."

These specific infections can stem from surgical hypothermia, contamination of the incision area, bacteria cross contamination, and surgical instrument contamination.

Barbara Dunn, of HAIWatch News, said "hospitals still have work to do to put an end to the ongoing, but very solvable, problem of patients acquiring life-threatening infections in hospitals."

In order to prevent healthcare associated infections from occuring, proper hygiene must be accounted for and protective equipment such as gloves should be in use at all times. When disposable tools are used once and only once on each patient, germs and bacteria are also less likely to develop.

For more information, see for tips on prevention and more on the issue of healthcare associated infections.

[/edit] I will change this one up in the near future. [/edit]