Nosocomial infection also known as Hospital acquired infection (HAI) is an infection that the patient acquires when he/she is admitted to a hospital or a health care facility for any reason other than that infection. The infection should have not been present or incubating prior to the patient's being admitted to the hospital.
Certain factors may affect the susceptibility of the patient to get nosocomial:
- The age of the patient: elderly and infants are more susceptible for infection.
- The presence of pre-existing diseases (co-morbidity): chronic diseases such as chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease and diabetes can increase the patient's risk for contracting a nosocomial infection as all these diseases may interfere with the immunity of the patient making him/her more susceptible for infection.
- Low or compromised immune system: any condition that suppresses the immune system can increase the susceptibility of the patient for a nosocomial infection.
- Malignancy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy: as all may suppress the immune system.
- Treatment with Antibiotics: this can cause the growth of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms that can cause nosocomial infection.
- Procedures and surgeries: therapeutic and/or diagnostic procedures and surgeries may increase the susceptibility of the patient for a nosocomial infection.
Measures taken by the healthcare staff to prevent and/or control nosocomial infection:
- Proper hand washing and/or cleansing.
- Wearing gloves, masks and gowns.
- Aseptic technique and procedure practice.
- Isolating patients with communicable diseases.
- Proper disinfection and sterilization of reusable equipment.
- Immunization patients at risk.
- Proper disposal of waste product.
- Educating patients and public about the causes, methodS of transmission, treatment and prevention of infection
This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.