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Discuss The Control Of Nosocomail Infections

2292 words - 9 pages

With an aging population increase and enhancement of advanced medical and surgical interventions including redesigned modern hospitals attention and concern has focused on complications of nosocomial infections (Weinstein 1998). Nosocomial infections also referred to as "hospital-acquired infections" is defined as 'localized or systemic conditions that result from adverse reactions to the presence of an infectious agent(s) or its toxin(s) and that were not present or incubating at the time of admission to the hospital' (Garner et al. 1996 cited by Duffy 2002, p.359). This major hazard entailed with hospitalization therefore, affects one out of nine patients with estimated odds of death being doubled (Harrison's Online). Furthermore, increased multi-resistant organisms, which are bacteria resistant to numerous antibiotics is another significant concern for health professionals (Adams & Harvey 1995).Accordingly this essay will discuss the types of susceptible patients to infections and the most common micro-organisms associated with nosocomial infections. Including, how implications of effective handwashing, wearing of protective attire and appropriate disposal of wastes linen and sharps are strategies and methods used by nursing staff in preventing, controlling and reducing nosocomial infections. Plus the importance of screening patients and how this minimises cross infection. This essay will lastly discuss factors contributing to an infection outbreak and the role and impact that health professionals have in these procedures.Different groups of patients are at higher risk of developing a nosocomial infection, undeniably certain factors contribute to susceptibility. Although, immunocompetent hosts are susceptible, in particular the elderly and immunocompromised patients arevulnerable to nosocomial infections due to reduced or impaired host defenses in resisting infection (Duffy 2002). Additionally, use of diagnostic and invasive procedures such as catheters, respiratory assistance devices, burns, surgery, monitoring devices, intravenous catheters and severity of illness (Hospital acquired infection/nosocomial infection Online), where, susceptibility to infections of patients in hospital longer than 48hrs significantly increases (Harrison's Online). Therefore, the intensive care, burns, neonatal, dialysis and oncology units are wards in hospitals where obtaining an infection is noticeably high (Rice & Eckstein 1995).Potential sources of infection may be either exogenous or endogenous. Endogenous is the patients own internal microbial flora and exogenous organisms are external environmental factors including equipment, linen, visitors, hospital staff and other patients (Black 2002). Incorporated in this are the common causative agents of nosocomial infections including, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Entercoccus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Coagulase-negative staphylocci (Nicolle & Garibaldi...

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