The purpose of this paper is to clearly define Health Associated Infections (HAIs) in the surrounded world. As well as to identify who is at risk, and how people in the healthcare setting can reduce those risks. In addition to how this could save money for the healthcare setting, and prevent deaths from these infections. By providing a better quality of care for patients, and prevent unnecessary contaminations.
HAIs or also called Health Care Associated Infections (HAIs) are produced by viral, bacterial, fungal pathogens, and parasites (Cataldo et al., 2013). It is an infection that did not exist when the patient first came to the hospital. Yet it develops during the course of management for the patient’s original diagnosis. There are also cases where the infection does not develop until days after the patient had been discharged (Collin, 2008).
Everyone who receives care in a healthcare setting has the possibility of acquiring an HAI. However like with anything there are certain factors that increase a person’s risk, these factors are intrinsic and extrinsic. The factors are made up of a wide range, because HAIs can affect anyone from a newborn to a person at the end stages of life. Intrinsic risk factors are issues that already existed within the patient. When pertaining to HAIs these include; the person’s age, lifestyle, medication use, and if the person has an acute or chronic illness. A person’s age is a factor because when born a person is relatively immunocompromised, and with age the immune system becomes dysfunctional. If a person is overweight and smokes this can also put them at risk because smoking can interfere with the healing process, and being overweight can make it hard for cleanliness. Lastly medication intake and pre-existing illness can interfere with a person ability to fight infection (Collin, 2008).
Extrinsic risk factors are aspects outside the person’s body, which are motivated by external environment situations. For HAIs these include length of hospital stay, hand washing techniques, equipment, and high-risk areas. These factors can all be linked back to cross contamination. Four routes of transmission for this are direct and indirect contact, respiratory droplets, airborne spread, and a common source. This can all be very hard to control in healthcare settings, because of the many different variables involved (Bennington, 2013).
Two evidence-base strategies in the nursing practice to prevent HAIs are hand washing and staff and patient education (Cataldo et al., 2013). We lean to wash our hands as children; however as adults we tend to not consistently keep up with it. Hand washing in the nursing practice is significant, because it has been proven to reduce the amount of cross contamination from patient to patient, while also reducing the outbreak of two of the most common HAIs; urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Staff and patient education has also been proven to help reduce the number...