Infection Control: A Growing Concern for Hospitals

by Orange Restoration San Diego

Infection control dividerCertain illnesses are able to pass from person to person very easily, and in some cases, the spread of infections can happen very easily. Whilst the spread of infection is a cause for concern in wider society, it is an even more important consideration for those in hospitals. In hospital buildings, there are a lot of people living together in close quarters, some of whom are already sick. The presence of infections, coupled with a population whose immune system is already compromised, means that infection control is a very important concern for hospital staff. For some patients, even minor infections can become a matter of life or death, so it is important that every precaution possible should be taken.

Isolation

In some cases, patients with infections may need to be isolated, so that the infection cannot be spread to other patients in the hospital. For diseases which are known to spread very easily, isolation may be the best option, as it can help to prevent other patients from accidentally coming into contact with an infected person. Special precautions should also be taken to ensure that healthcare professionals do not spread the infection from the isolation zone to other hospital areas.

Sterilization and Disinfection

Disinfection and sterilization are used to kill disease causing microorganisms. Disinfection usually requires the use of liquid chemicals which kill organisms, whilst sterilization can be done with chemicals, steam or dry heat. Whilst disinfection kills a large number of disease causing microorganisms, it does not kill bacterial endospores. Sterilization aims to kill almost all microorganisms, although no known method is guaranteed to be 100% effective. These methods aim to prevent the spread of infection from patient to patient, for example sterilization of equipment in a hospital helps to prevent a patient from getting an infection from previous patients who used that equipment.

Hand washing

Hand washing is one of the most basic methods of infection control, but it is also one which is essential. Doctors realized as early as 1847 that hand washing by doctors in between patients was essential to stop the spread of disease. Previously, doctors either did not wash their hands between patients, or only washed their hands for their own comfort. Hand washing is now a mandatory part of infection control in most hospitals in the developed world.

Personal protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is worn by most health care professionals to help to reduce the risk of them becoming infected. Healthcare professionals should take every step possible to ensure that they are safe when they are doing their job. As well as providing peace of mind for healthcare workers, this equipment helps to keep workers fit and healthy, so that they will be healthy enough to continue working to the best of their abilities. Many PPE items, such as gloves and surgical aprons are disposable, so as to prevent infections from being spread from one patient to another. These items are then disposed of safely as medical waste, along with other items such as swabs and syringes.

More about infection control at http://orange-restoration.com/additional-services/san-diego-infection-control/

 

 

 

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