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Hospital acquired infections

Hospital acquired infections - Symptoms

Patients with hospital acquired infections may develop fever occurring 48 hours after hospitalization. They may also complain of chills, rigors, giddiness, palpitations and experience lethargy. Some may experience non-specific symptoms and the infection is picked up on routine blood test showing elevated inflammatory markers. In other instances, the signs and symptoms may be more specific depending on the organ involved.  Apart from fever, one may also experience the following: 
  • With pneumonia, one may experience shortness of breath, cough, chest pain with deep breathing. 
  • With urinary tract infections, there may be pain or burning sensation with passing urine, pain above pubic bone and/or in the flanks, blood in urine, cloudy urine, or decreased urine output. 
  • Patients with bloodstream infections may feel sick and unwell with non-specific symptoms. The infection can also spread to other parts of the body such as the skin, bones, joints, heart or other internal organs. When abscesses form, they may cause pain. 
  • Surgical wound infections / device related infections. The surgical wounds may appear red, feel warm to touch and experience pain with palpation. Pus may be expressed in severe cases. 
  • Hospital acquired diarrhoea can also develop, and this is often associated with Clostridium difficile infection associated with antibiotic use. One may experience nausea, anorexia, abdominal pain, with loose watery stools or bloody stools.

Hospital acquired infections - Preparing for surgery

Hospital acquired infections - Post-surgery care

Hospital acquired infections - Other Information

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