Health Care Associated Infection

Sep 14, 2017 in Medicine

These are infections arising from poor or inadequate attention accorded to patients during their treatment, thus leading to new complications. Professionals in the health sector have argued that infections such as this have become the most challenging to the health care of an individual patient. In light of this, the research places focus on the causes of the infections, which in most cases are as a result of poor environmental conditions for patients. The aim of the project is to help create friendly environments for healthcare facilities. Various approaches are used to help achieve the goal of proper environment. Some of these approaches include: building well-ventilated houses and especially the operation rooms and using disinfectors while cleaning the facilities. These will help interfere with the favorable environment for the disease-causing pathogens that exist and thus making it difficult for their existence. Another way to reduce such infections will be provision of proper storage facilities for the equipment to be used in the facilities. This will in return reduce the possibility of new infections at the heath facilities. The approach is gaining momentum with other research conducted earlier approving the approach, though in different capacities.

Literature review

In literature reviewing, focus is on understanding how antibiotics are put to use in treatment of major as well as minor illnesses that result from bacterial infections. However, they have not done so without dire consequences, particularly when overused on a patient (Malmvall BE, 2007). This mainly happens where the doctors and health workers in the facility have little knowledge about the side effects of these drugs. For instance, majority of the women treated for respiratory and urinary infections using conventional antibiotics, suffer from an overgrowth of vaginal yeast. Another complex situation is Clostridium difficile caused by antibiotics by changing microbial balancing around the colon (McDonnell, 2006).

Over the past, various researches have been carried out in attempt to understand how best to resolve health care-associated infection crisis. In fact, credible reports have been written by these bodies which largely help in better understanding of the problem, areas investigated by others as well as their recommendations. For instance, a report produced by “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)” titled “Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities” signifies that such an environment acts as a habitat for microorganisms, but hardly causes or spreads diseases except for those environments where the populations are immune-compromised themselves (Health Care Infection Control Practice Advisory Committee, 2003).

This appears to be the general situation in most health care facilities and thus the need for adequate preventive measures to be outlined arises. These measures are proper ventilation in operation theatres, quality water dialysis and putting disinfectants to proper use. In their recommendations, they rooted for monitoring of the protective environment and infection isolation rooms and more specifically when patients are present; analyze the purity of the water being used in the facilities, as well as check the involvement of infection control personnel in virtually all renovations, construction and demolitions occurring in the health facility (Safdar N, 2005).

Another research by Department of Health and Human Services in the United States labeled “2012 Progress Towards elimination health Care Associated Infections” stated that development of evidence-based guidelines was critical for achieving a free Healthcare-associated infection environment. Again, it indicated the need to provide a stronger leadership and provision of finest practices and management development (2012, p. US department of Health). These were to ensure proper handling of the situation by medical practitioners and thus avoiding potential human errors.

Despite the fact that the above research has been carried out under similar conditions as this research, there are some fundamental differences that arise from intended objectives. For instance, while the Department of Health in the United States put more emphasis on the surgical activities, this research adds those on respiratory as well as cardiac to it. This makes the research comprehensive in regard to recommendations, as opposed to those conducted previously. Again, the two researches stated above dwelt solely on the environment. Contrary to this, this research goes beyond the environmental causes of such infections to human errors that may cause the infections.

Moreover, this research will explore ways and means of providing adequate training to medical professionals on how to handle such unique situations as surgery, with an aim of eliminating new infections that are likely to occur to the patient. During their training, they are also to be provided with skills on how and when to disinfect, particularly while dealing with medical equipment. However, some of the objectives of this research are similar to the findings of HICPAC and the research will be seeking to approve or disapprove them. For example, HICPAC recommends that highly sophisticated disinfectants should be avoided (Health Care Infection Control Practice Advisory Committee, 2003). This is because the chemicals present in such disinfecting solutions could be dangerous to patients. This research will seek to confirm whether this is so or not. Furthermore, they recommend that water and detergents be used to clean surfaces and in areas where there are no patient care services. The major cause for this being that detergents may not be strong enough to disinfect; additionally, they may lead to new infections due to chemicals used in making them.

Apart from the health attendants, this research intends to investigate infections that may as well arise from visitors and other patients. For instance, considering visits made to a patient by family members or friends, their contact may transfer the disease-causing microorganisms to the patient whose body might be very weak to fight the new infectious micro-organisms. Another observation made in previous researches and is to be covered in this research is that of infections from other patients. According to HICPAC, each patient should have their own room, as opposed to placing them in one common room. This is mainly because some diseases are airborne and can be easily transferred from one patient to another. Again, contact amongst the patients, especially suffering from different conditions may as well lead to new infections.

Furthermore, when medical attendants come in to contact with a particular patient, they need to thoroughly clean and disinfect their hands before getting into contact with the other patient. This should apply to the medical equipment being used as well. According to HICPAC, it was found necessary to clean and later decontaminate spills of blood that may be found on general medical equipment use in a health facility. Where some of this equipment such as syringes cannot be reused, proper disposal methods were recommended to ensure that they do not find their way back to the stores. One of the disposal tactics recommended was placing such equipments in labeled containers which were then supposed to be replaced on a daily basis.

Basically, most of the previous researches made recommendations that made an avenue for a more comprehensive research to be conducted. For instance, recommendation by HICPAC for engagements with experts during building, demolition or renovation of health facilities to ensure proper advice is relayed on the ventilation status, needs more research work on building and construction industry. Although medical practitioners provide the health requirements during the start of construction work, it is the exclusive responsibility of the contractor to design the building to meet those requirements.

Another recommendation was on the dialysis of water meant to be used in operations of the health facility. Despite the fact that water engineers must ensure that water connections are not prone to contamination, the responsibility to guarantee clean water for use in the health facility still remained with staff present. It was recommended that untreated water ought not to be used in the health facilities.

In conclusion it is observed that, despite the above, there are various ways in which infections originating from overuse of antibiotics can be reduced. Excessive use of antibacterial causes the resistance to bacteria operating within the body and thus failing to cure bacterial infections. In fact, in health care facilities where there are many patients being served by fewer health care workers, proper training should be accorded to these medical practitioners to enable them to use the antibiotics at the most appropriate case, time and amount.

While a majority of the healthy people may assume that they are little affected by the resistance caused by the overuse of antibiotics, the contrary is true. For instance, when patients have bacterial diseases that are resistance, other uninfected patients as well as medical officers may be infected by the already resistant bacteria (Malmvall BE, 2007). To avoid this, health facilities need to maintain a clean environment within the facility as well as put in place proper ventilation as a way of inconveniencing bacteria existence. This can fairly be achieved by use of detergents as well as disinfectants while cleaning clothing or the floor.

Furthermore, medical equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before use on any other patient. Moreover, medical attendants should always ensure they use medical gloves while attending to patients, as well as wash their hands using disinfectants before getting to another patient, thus avoiding transfer of bacteria from one patient to another. Finally, it is advisable that patients suffering from bacterial infections are not placed in the same wards as the others to avoid complications that are likely to arise.

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