What is Nosocomial Infection?
What is Nosocomial Infection? Nosocomial infections are infections acquired and developed when a person is in a hospital setting. An example of a nosocomial infection is a patient contracting an infection from a hospital staff or during a visit to a hospital.
These nosocomial infections occur worldwide and adversely affect health conditions in poor and developing countries. This nosocomial infection is one of the biggest causes of death in patients undergoing hospitalization.
According to WHO data in 2005, more than half of newborns admitted to hospital care in Brazil and Indonesia were infected with nosocomial infections. The case mortality rate is 12 to 52 percent.
Nosocomial infections can cause the patient to be exposed to various diseases, and each disease has different symptoms. Some of the most common diseases caused by nosocomial infections are:
- Urinary tract infection.
- Blood flow infections.
- Infections of the surgical wound.
Causes and Risk Factors of Nosocomial Infection
Nosocomial infection occurs when a patient in a hospital contracts an infection from a bacterium. The bacteria can infect the patient due to the neglect of the hospital staff and the lack of proper hygiene procedures.
The most common category of bacteria that causes nosocomial infections is MRSA, one of the gram-positive bacteria that is resistant to methicillin (Staphylococcus aureus bacteria) and Acinetobacter, which includes gram-negative bacteria.
In addition to the hygiene factors, many hospitalized patients suffer from serious illnesses with weakened immune systems. Therefore, outpatients have grown in the last decades. This makes the risk of transmission of nosocomial infections to patients at this point higher.
Another reason is, the hospital system that keeps health staff from one patient to another. If the health staff does not maintain good hygiene, this system will make the health staff as the infectious agent.
Some of the factors below may increase the risk of a patient getting a nosocomial infection:
- Being over 70 years old.
- In a coma.
- Never had antibiotic therapy before.
- Treated in ICU unit for more than three days.
- Acute renal failure.
- Having severe injuries.
- Experiencing shock.
- Underwent mechanical ventilation.
- Under treatment that affects the immune system.
- Wearing catheters for a long time.
Diagnosis of Nosocomial Infections
Diagnosis in nosocomial infections can generally be done by relying on physical examination alone. Signs of infection can be seen if there is inflammation, rash, or pus. To be sure, your doctor may suggest blood tests and urine tests.
Treatment of Nosocomial Infections
Treatment of nosocomial infections is closely related to the type of infection experienced. Many types of infections that occur can be treated with antibiotics. Especially for nosocomial infections caused by gram-positive bacteria, there are many types of antibiotics to overcome them. While nosocomial infections caused by gram-negative bacteria have fewer types of antibiotics to overcome them.
The following is a nosocomial infection treatment procedure based on the following complications:
- Wound infections surgery: Wound infections surgery can be treated with a combination of antibiotics with special care surgical wounds.
- Blood flow infections: Antifungal treatment (fungi) or antiviral (viral) treatment may be performed simultaneously with antibiotics.
- Urinary tract infections: To supplement antibiotics, doctors usually give antifungal treatment (fungal) to avoid more severe complications.
- Pneumonia: After being given antibiotics, patients with pneumonia are usually given antipyretic analgesics to relieve joint pain and fever. To relieve flu symptoms, patients are usually given antiviral treatment (virus).
Prevention of Nosocomial Infection
The most effective way to reduce nosocomial infections is that hospital staff are required to wash their hands regularly. In addition, they are expected to wear cloth and protective gloves when working with patients. The hospital is also expected to control and supervise air quality in the hospital.
Here are some things to watch for to prevent transmission of nosocomial infections are:
- Washing hands. Routine hand washing is the most important action to prevent transmission of nosocomial infections, as it reduces the risk of transmitting skin microorganisms from one person to another.
- Cleanliness of the room. Hospital surface cleanliness is sometimes underestimated, but it is important. Modern hygiene methods are able to eradicate influenza virus, gastroenteritis, MRSA bacteria effectively.
- Insulation system. The isolation system serves to prevent the spread of disease organisms to other parts of the hospital. Especially in patients who are at risk of transmitting their infection.
- Sterilization of medical devices. Hospital staff should also disinfect medical equipment with chemical liquids, ionic radiation, drying, or pressurized vaporization, to kill all microorganisms.
- Use of gloves. In addition to hand washing, it is important for hospital staff to use gloves. So the risk of transmission of microorganisms of the skin is getting smaller.
- Antimicrobial coating. To minimize the risk of developing bacteria, it is better to choose furniture from materials that can reduce the risk of developing bacteria such as copper or silver.