How Can Infections Be Acquired in Hospitals?

In hospitals, infections can be acquired through inadequate sterilization of equipment and appliances, low standards of cleanliness in the facilities, water systems etc., air conditioning, food and water infected with various bacteria, viruses etc., or even through direct contact.

Typically, three risk factors make patients prone to hospital infections. The first risk factor is the patient himself. Even when medical facilities are careful with keeping their settings clean, there is a particular class of patients that still get infected.

Since such patients have a weak immune system, the longer they stay in the hospital, the higher the risk that they will contract a disease. In such cases, the hospital has the responsibility of ensuring that such patients are aware of the risk they face and that they can only be admitted after giving consent.

The second risk factor is organizational. This depends on the standards of cleanliness that are maintained by the facility in question. Factors that increase the level of risk include general cleanliness in the hospital, water systems, building surfaces, concentration of patients in each room, and sterilization of medical appliances.

The third area of risk regards the sanitation issues. This is the level of care with which doctors, nurses, and all hospital staff handle patients. This can consider actions as washing their hands, using sterilizers, and is reflected in the care taken during invasive medical procedures. All these are circumstances that increase the chances that a patient will contract an infectious disease.

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