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Need to Create Awareness on Hospital-Acquired Infection

Acquiring infections in healthcare settings are inevitable and usually occur after 48 hours after admission. Medicos say that patients and their relatives have a 10 percent risk of acquiring a new infection in hospital and non-hospital settings. A hospital-acquired infection (HAI) is usually after 48 hours of admission, which might not be related to the original condition of the patient. Such infections occur during the process of treatment care in a healthcare facility. As per World Health Organisation, of every 100 hospitalised patients at any given time, 7 in developed and 10 in developing countries will acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection. “Infections in general healthcare set up are transmitted through various mediums such as contact, droplet transmission, airborne transmission, vehicle transmission or vector borne transmission. The most common hospital acquired infections include respiratory infections, surgical wound infections, genitourinary infections and gastrointestinal infections,” said general medicine consultant Dr C. Jagadeesh. A report published in medical journal BMC Medicine said that people who received IV treatment at home, wound care or specialized nursing care, attended a hospital or hemo-dialysis clinic or received IV chemotherapy can show symptoms associated with hospital acquired infections within a month.

Hospitalisation or residing in an acute care hospital for 2 or more days can show symptoms associated with hospital-acquired infections in next 90 days. “More than 20 percent of all acquired infections are associated with ICU stay, which is at least 2-3-fold higher in India than in high-income countries. Prolonged and inappropriate use of invasive devices, immuno-therapy, and isolation precautions are some factors that increase the risk of infection in healthcare settings. Other things that add to the risk is overcrowding, lack of awareness on hygiene, inadequate staff and infrastructure and improper disposal of hospital waste,” said Dr K. K. Aggarwal, former president of Medical Council of India. “Every patient must be informed about the risk of developing infection during hospital stay, since it is unrelated to the patient’s condition, which brought him/her to the hospital. Not doing so may be a ground for malpractice claim. Educating them on how to reduce the risk of transmission will also enhance their participation in infection control practices”, added Dr Aggarwal. – Deccan Chronicle

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