A hospital acquired infections (HAI) or health care associated infections, also called a nosocomial infection, is an infection that first appears between 48 hours and four days after a patient is admitted to a hospital or other health-care facility.
These infections were not noted to be present on the day of admission. The term nosocomial is used specifically to indicate infection originating or taking place in hospital or health care-facility.
About 5-10% of patient admitted to acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities in the United States develop a hospital-acquired, or nosocomial, infection, with an annual total of more than one million people (Andreoli). Hospitals acquired infections accounts for 90,000 deaths, and 4.5 billion dollars in excess health care costs annually (Taylor et al).
Hospital-acquired infections are usually related to a procedure or treatment used to diagnose or treat the patient’s initial illness or injury, and more so infections passed to patients by health care workers when caring for them.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the U.S Department of Health care and Human services has shown that about 36% of these infections are preventable through the adherence to strict guidelines by health care providers when caring for patients (Andreoli et al).
Bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites can cause hospital-acquired infections. These microorganisms may already be present in the patient’s body or may come from the environment, contaminated hospital equipment, healthcare providers, or other patients. Other HAI may develop from the performance of surgical procedures; from insertion of catheters into the urinary tract, nose mouth or blood vessels; or from material from the nose or mouth that is aspirated or inhaled into the lungs.
The most common types of hospital-acquired infections are;-
▪ Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).