Hospitals are notorious for spreading lethal infections

Hospital environments have become an essay channel to contact infectious diseases nowadays. The most worrisome aspect is the way patients and visitors carry on when they are in the hospital environment which have left so much to be desired.
Take, for instance, a nursing mother who allows her baby to crawl around, fully aware of the possibility of the child picking things and putting them in his mouth.
Where there is no object in sight, the child may insert his dirty hands in his mouth for whatever reasons.
What about adults who touch all available surfaces as they use the hospital, without the faintest idea that they may pick up infectious pathogens that could make them and everybody in their circle – family and friends – sick.
Experts said hospital-acquired infections (medically called nosocomial infections) now affect three in 25 patients.
Indeed, researchers noted that the most common hospital-acquired infections include central line-associated bloodstream infections (which occur when germs enter the bloodstream through a central line); catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections after surgery and clostridium difficile infections (a bacterium that causes diarrhoea and more serious intestinal conditions).
Experts warn that the situation is growing more dangerous because it has been found that hospital-acquired infections may not respond to regular antibiotics.
They lament that people who have contagious infections are allowed to mingle freely with other patients as they all wait to see the doctor. Consequently, she says, someone who has come to treat malaria fever may return home with tuberculosis if he happens to come into contact with the droplets of an infected person in the hospital waiting room.
Some patients acquire nosocomial infections by interacting with other patients, experts say; while others encounter bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses in their hospital environment.
The way out
Infection control is the responsibility of all health care professionals. As such, they must practice the following.
Hand decontamination
Transmission of hospital infections can be minimised with appropriate hand hygiene; while care givers must be knowledgeable about possible risks and procedures so as to guard against infections.
Personal hygiene
“All hospital staff must maintain good personal hygiene. Nails must be clean and kept short. False nails should not be worn. Hair must be worn short or pinned up. Beard and moustaches must be kept trimmed and clean,” experts counsel.
All aseptic units and operating rooms, health workers must wear dedicated shoes, which must be easy to clean.
Safe injection practices
In order to prevent transmission of infections between patients who take injections, experts suggest the elimination of unnecessary injections, and the use of disposable sterile needle and syringes. “After they are done, they must also follow safe sharp disposal practices,” the physician says.
Cleaning of the hospital environment
Experts say routine cleaning is necessary to ensure that a hospital environment is visibly clean and free from dust and soil.
“This is because 90 per cent of microorganisms are present within visible dirt, and the purpose of routine cleaning is to eliminate this dirt. There must be policies specifying the frequency of cleaning and cleaning agents used for walls, floors, windows, beds, curtains, screens, fixtures, furniture, baths and toilets, and all reused medical devices.
Hospital workers are expected to wear sterile gloves for surgery, and also when attending to patients. Gloves must be changed each time a new patient is to be examined. Hands must be washed when gloves are removed or changed; while disposable gloves should not be reused.
As for hospital visitors and patients, always wash hands with soap and water after visit.

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