Describe Hospital-Acquired Diseases and Infections

Describe Hospital-Acquired Diseases and Infections

Hospital-Acquired Diseases and Infections

Although hospitals offer an environment that is conducive for recovery from illnesses, it is unfortunate that there is a likelihood of contracting some diseases and infections from the settings. A hospital-acquired disease is a type of illness that a person can get in a healthcare environment, for instance, hospitals, nursing homes, or rehabilitation institutions (Khan, Ahmad, & Mehboob, 2015). These types of diseases are also referred to as nosocomial infections. Since the diseases can also be contracted in the course of health service delivery outside a clinical facility, they are sometimes known as healthcare-associated infections. Infection control and management of pathogens responsible for hospital-acquired diseases are vital since they are a threat to the lives of health professionals, patients, and visitors.Hospital-Acquired Diseases and Infections

Blackwell (2015) describes a situation where a Canadian woman had gone to a health care facility for a regular hysterectomy and the removal of an ovary but later succumbed to a belly infection that had advanced to necrotizing fasciitis. She developed the infection after her surgical wound acquired pathogens in the course of her stay in the hospital. It was reported that this was a single case out of 8000 deaths, which occurred in Canada as a result of hospital-acquired infections. Moreover, in the late 2000s, a hospital in Quebec and two in Toronto announced that they had discovered that contaminated sinks were mainly responsible for hospital-acquired infection outbreaks in the regions.


National Healthcare Safety Network with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers meningitis, gastroenteritis, and infections affecting the urinary tract, surgical/soft tissues, and respiratory system as the most common hospital-acquired illnesses. Nosocomial infections occur as a result of various microbes, of which bacteria account for approximately 90% of all cases of the infections in healthcare settings; protozoans, fungi, and viruses are responsible for the rest of the percentage (Khan et al., 2015). The nosocomial infections causing pathogens can be transmitted from one individual to another either directly through physical contact or indirectly through surfaces, items, and substances that are contaminated. Hospital staff, patients, and people visiting the health facilities are highly vulnerable to the development of hospital-acquired illnesses. Since every medical staff is supposed to be in regular contact or interaction with patients, they are likely to get the infections if the patients that they attend have ailments that can be transmitted from one person to another. Health professionals can acquire infections from patients having pulmonary diseases, needle prick communicable illnesses, or transmissible skin diseases. Additionally, the workers can pick the pathogens responsible for the infections from contaminated medical equipment, surfaces, or air droplets if they do not apply proper hygiene practices. Visitors who come to see patients in health care facilities can also contract the infections if they have skin-to-skin contact with infected patients or when they touch or hold contaminated items and surfaces.Hospital-Acquired Diseases and Infections

All patients admitted or visiting healthcare facilities are also susceptible to hospital-acquired infections, especially elderly patients, those with defective immunity, and the extremely young, such as premature babies. When a medical staff fails to observe proper hygiene, he or she can transmit nosocomial infections from contaminated surfaces, equipment, or themselves to the patients (Khan et al., 2015). The sick people can also contract the infections by coming into direct contact with the skin of a person with any of the infections or contaminated air, surface, and items such as bedding, doors, sink handles, among others. Sometimes the microorganisms responsible for some of the infections can originate from the skin microbiota of a patient after a surgical operation or any other procedure, which interferes with the protective barrier of the body skin. Although the infection forms occur as a result of patients’ skin conditions, they are still considered hospital-acquired since they develop in a healthcare environment. In conclusion, the clinical setting should be the safest place for the well-being of all; patients, visitors, and health professionals. Infection control practices by healthcare personnel can have a considerable impact on the reduction of diseases and deaths.

Blackwell, T. (2015, January 19) Infected and undocumented: Thousands of Canadians dying from hospital-acquired bugs. National Post. Web.

Khan, H. A., Ahmad, A., & Mehboob, R. (2015). Nosocomial infections and their control strategies. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5(7), 509-514.Hospital-Acquired Diseases and Infections

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