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Hospital acquired infections

Hospital acquired infections - Causes and Risk Factors

Hospital acquired infections can arise because the patient is debilitated and frail, with impaired immunity. Patients may also catch infections from visitors who are unwell, or acquire them through contact with other patients or healthcare workers. This highlights the importance of good infection control practices in the hospital.

The development of hospital acquired infections also depends on the complex interaction between patient factors, healthcare environmental factors and procedural factors. In general, those at risk of hospital acquired infections are elderly, frail and/or bedbound patients with poor nutritional status. They are also likely to have chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, chronic lung diseases, chronic heart conditions, chronic renal failure, chronic liver disease, stroke, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune disorders, haematological disorders or underlying malignancy), undergone recent surgery / procedures or have medical instruments in situ. Transplant recipients are also at high risk of hospital acquired infections. 

Paradoxically, patients who are on antibiotics are also at risk of hospital acquired infections, specifically, Clostridium difficile associated diarrhoea, which is a form of antibiotic associated diarrhoea. Antibiotics which are no longer indicated should be discontinued.

Hospital acquired infections - Preparing for surgery

Hospital acquired infections - Post-surgery care

Hospital acquired infections - Other Information

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