Preventing infections in hospitals

Cleanliness is one of the top priorities in hospitals across the country. However, health care-associated infections (HAIs), those that develop during a hospital stay, can cause severe complications for some individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 20 patients develop an HAI.1 Although many precautions are taken in an attempt to avoid these types of situations, it still happens.

More on HAIs
Many of these infections occur due to devices that are used during medical procedures. Some of the most common types of HAIs that are experienced by patients include:2

  • catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • gastrointestinal infections
  • surgical site infections
  • ventilator- associated pneumonia

The CDC regularly monitors HAIs and is constantly working to prevent their occurrence, as a key to ensuring patient safety.

HAI prevention
Based on collected researcher, the CDC provides advice on new strategies for HAI prevention. These are generally improvements to medical procedures and infection control guidance used in health care facilities.3 A key to success in this area is to have infection prevention policies and procedures in place at hospitals and the like. When staff members are informed and kept up to date with the information, it can go a long way in avoiding HAIs.

New developments
According to The Wichita Eagle, Wesley Medical Center in Kansas has developed a new robot – Johnny Five – to help the staff prevent the spread of infection in the facility.4 The device works to help kill infectious spores and bacteria that may lead to HAIs in patients. This is in addition to current cleaning policies in place at the hospital. While Johnny Five is at work, the room is evacuated to ensure the safety of patients and personnel.

"We're going to see what kind of effect it has," Valerie Creswell, Wesley's infectious disease medical director, told the source.

In particular, the center is looking to see how the equipment effects of C. diff rates in patients. Creswell believes that the results will be available next year.

Medex Supply provides health care facilities with supplies to help control and prevent infection.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Health care-associated infections (HAIs): the burden" December 13, 2010
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Types of health care-associated infections" January 30, 2012
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Preventing health care-associated infections" April 17, 2012
4 The Wichita Eagle, "Wesley using robot to help in preventing spread of infection" October 30, 2013

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