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Nosocomial Infections and Burns (Part II)

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.

Origin of Nosocomial infection:

Nasocomial infection can be external (from out side the body) or internal (from the inside of the body).

External (Exogenous) infection: examples of external sources of infection may include

  1. Catheters such as the urine catheter (Foley Catheter)
  2. Instruments such as speculum, scissor, forceps.
  3. Hands if they are not properly sterilized.
  4. Blood product transfusion which can transmit Hepatitis B and HIV.
  5. IV lines like Central and Picc lines.
  6. Respiratory equipment such as ventilators.
  7. Airborne infection: such as Tuberculosis (TB).
  8. Linen that are contaminated.

Internal (Endogenous) infections: Internal sources of infection may include

  1. Skin: Certain bacteria live on the skin of many healthy individuals without causing any infection. However, these bacteria can cause skin infections if they enter the body through a break in the skin as in burns, open wounds and cuts. Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) is a bacteria that can be found living on the skin and in the nose of many healthy people without causing any infections. This bacteria can cause skin infections such as boils when the circumstances are appropriate.
  2. Oropharynx.
  3. Respiratory System.
  4. Gastrointestinal tract.
  • Pathogens that cause nosocomial infections can be Bacteria, Fungi, Viruses and Protozoa.
  • Pathogens vary in their virulence (the ability of a microorganism to cause disease); the more virulent the organism is, the less the number needed to produce the disease.
  • The sicker the patient is, the higher the risk of contracting a nasoconial infection.
  • The lower the patient’s immunity is, the higher the risk of getting a nasocomial infection.
  • Certain circumstances may favor the growth and survival of the microorganism such as wet versus dry objects. Contamination is heavier in wet objects than dry objects.

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.