The Role of Medical Equipment to Prevent Spread of Nosocomial Infections

Prevent Spread of Nosocomial Infections

In this new era of prioritizing infection prevention, preventative protocols have become a main topic within the healthcare industry in terms of medical professionals and the medical devices used. Nosocomial Infections are hospital-acquired infections that are not present when a patient is admitted but instead develop within 48 hours of admission. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Nosocomial Infections generally account for 7% of infections in patients in developed countries and 10% in developing countries.

When these types of infections occur during a hospital stay, many patients are forced to extend their stay, often causing an undue financial burden to the patient and could result in long term complications and disability. By implementing strict infection control in hospitals while handling medical devices, nosocomial infection rate can be drastically decreased.

What Are The Types Of Nosocomial Infection?

Nosocomial Infections can be defined as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli, and generally show up as central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Science Direct defines these infections as:

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (Clabsi)

CLABSIs are a deadly form of nosocomial infection with a death incidence rate of 12%–25%. Catheters are placed in central lines to provide fluid and medicines, but prolonged use can cause serious bloodstream infections resulting in compromised health and increase in care cost.

Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (Cauti)

CAUTI is the most common type of nosocomial infection globally. According to acute care hospital stats in 2011, UTIs account for more than 12% of reported infections. CAUTIs are caused by endogenous native microflora of the patients. Catheters serve as a conduit for entry of bacteria whereas the imperfect drainage from the catheter retains some volume of urine in the bladder—providing stability for bacteria.

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Surgical Site Infections (Ssi)

SSIs are nosocomial infections that 2%–5% of patients are subjected to during surgery. These are the second most common type of nosocomial infections mainly caused by Staphylococcus aureus resulting in prolonged hospitalization and risk of death. The pathogens causing SSI arise from endogenous microflora of the patient. The incidence rate may be as high as 20% depending upon procedure and surveillance criteria used.

Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (Vap)

VAP is a nosocomial pneumonia found in 9–27% of patients on mechanically assisted ventilators. It usually occurs within 48 hours after tracheal incubation. 86% of nosocomial pneumonia is associated with ventilation.

How To Prevent Nosocomial Infections

Hospital infection control starts with the sterilization department. Within every hospital, the sterilization department is responsible for cleaning, decontaminating, testing, preparing for use, sterilizing, and storing all sterile hospital equipment—including the medical devices used within the operating suite.

The sterilization department works closely with the Hospital Infection Control Committee to design, implement, and monitor the infection prevention protocols designed for optimal hospital hygiene. It’s pertinent to ensure all sterilizer equipment is fully functional to avoid any down time, and sterilizer maintenance is performed in a timely manner to avoid delay in service.

ERD’s biomedical technicians are well trained in infection control and will keep your sterilization department running smoothly. Alongside the importance of choosing quality medical equipment, finding a reliable biomedical technician is just as important. Contact us today to schedule your service call and keep hospital acquired infection rate down to a minimum.

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