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Have you ever wondered if visiting a hospital can cause you to pick up various infections? In case your answer is no, then you should be aware of the existence of something called a hospital acquired infection. Also known as a nosocomial infection, this is a common occurrence in a large number of patients around the world.
Hospital acquired infections are defined as infections that affect the patient within 2 days of hospital admission or 3 days after discharge. This type of infection is also commonly observed after surgery, which usually occurs within a month of an operation. This is because hospitals are actually hotbeds for a wide range of viruses and bacteria and hence, the possibility of spreading the infection from one person to another is quite high.
What else should you know?
The most common cause of nosocomial infections are gram-positive bacteria predominantly Staphylococcus aureus. Up to 60% of hospital acquired infections in the ICU are caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria, mainly Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). One in every 10 patients admitted to hospital gets affected by this infection. Usually these infections are difficult to treat and have a high tendency to recur, but these can often be prevented.
The common symptoms of hospital acquired infections after surgery include swelling, redness and pus. While in case of infections acquired after undergoing non-surgical procedures, symptoms such as sore throat, cough, fever, skin irritation and malaise are seen. The best way to prevent the spread of such infections is through maintaining high levels of hygiene, using hand sanitisers, washing your hands and exercising a healthy amount of caution. Read more about tips to stay away from hospital acquired infections.
Image source: Getty images
Ken Inweregbu et al Nosocomial infections
Healthcare Associated infections (HAI) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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