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"Breaking the Chain of Hospital Associated Infection"

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200173340 DOME 1005 Foundations of Clinical Practice "Breaking the Chain of Hospital Associated Infection" 09/01/2006 Breaking the Chain of Hospital Associated Infection With the outbreak of antibiotic resistant infections, infection control is becoming a major concern for health organisations all over the world (DoH, 2003). Generally between 4 and 10 % of patients hospitalized in a more economically developed country, such as the USA, the UK or Australia, develop a hospital associated infection during their time in hospital (DoH, 2003). Currently an estimated one in ten NHS patients will contract a healthcare association infection whilst staying in an NHS hospital thus giving the UK one of the highest rates of healthcare associated infections in the western world (DoH, 2003). As well as significantly raising healthcare costs and lengthening hospital stays, it is estimated that hospital associated infections cause 25,000 patient deaths every year (Borton and McCleave, 2000). The Department of Heath (2003) recognises that the use of invasive medical devices is one of the strongest factors that increase the risk of contracting a Healthcare associated infection. This is supported by figures which suggest that 80% of healthcare associated urinary infections are caused by urinary catheters and 60% of healthcare associated infections of the blood can be traced to intravenous feeding lines and other such invasive devices (DoH, 2003). It also recognised that a patient's age, underlying medical condition and the length of their hospitalisation also increases the risk of the patient contracting a hospital associated infection (Borton and McCleave, 2000). ...read more.


There are many different potential sources of infectious organisms which are routinely found in hospitals including food, water, medical equipment and laundry. These only become sources of hospital acquired infection when hospital's procedures that are put in place to protect patients against nosocomial infections are not followed, for example wards are overcrowded, medical equipment is not properly maintained or sterilised, or when healthcare workers fail to adhere to infection control guidelines (Huband and Trigg, 2000). There are many guidelines in place to prevent the colonisation of pathogenic organisms in hospitals thus preventing hospitals, and hospital equipment becoming a source of infection. An example of one such guideline is the Food Safety General Regulations document (DoH 1995 cited in Kenworthy et al 2002) which gives details as to how to prepare food that is safe for consumption and includes a recommendation of training for food handlers. During my time in my placement there were a number of times when I was asked to go and prepare drinks for my patients and whilst I was in the kitchen I was able to observe some of the Department of Health's food safety guidelines (1990, cited in Kenworthy et al 2002) being practised. I noticed that the kitchen staff washed their hands prior to touching any of the food or equipment, they also wore gloves, aprons, hairnets and I saw that to cover up any cuts on their hands the kitchen staff used bright blue plasters. ...read more.


This essay has examined the procedures and practices in place to break the chain of infection at each of the different points in order to prevent a nosocomial infection from occurring. Examples from practice have also been included in order to unearth the advantages as well as the difficulties associated with each practice or procedure. Word Count - 2,320 Reference list Borton, D. and McCleave, K. (2000) Infection Control (Chapter 9) in Springhouse. 3rd Edition Nursing Procedures. Pennsylvania: Springhouse. Department of Health (2003) Winning Ways: Working together to reduce Healthcare Associated infection in England. Available from the World Wide Web: http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPAmpGBrowsableDocument/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4095070&MULTIPAGE_ID=4878850&chk=1SkIpy [Accessed 19th December 2005]. Hockenberry, M.J. (2005) Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing. 7TH Edition. St Louis: Elsevier Mosby. Hockenberry, M.J, Wilson, D. Winkelstein, M.L, and Kline, N.E. (2003) Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children. 7TH Edition. London: Mosby. Huband, S. and Trigg, E. (Eds.) (2000) Practices in Children's Nursing: Guidelines for Hospital and Community. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. Kenworthy, N. Snowley, G. and Gilling, C. (Eds.) (2002) Common Foundation Studies in Nursing. 3rd Edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. Mallik, M. Hall, C. and Howard, D. (Eds.) (1997) Nursing Knowledge and Practice: a Decision Making Approach. London: Bailliļæ½re Tindall. National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2003) Infection control: prevention of healthcare associated infection in primary and community care. Available from the World Wide Web: http://www.nice.org.uk/pdf/CG2fullguidelineinfectioncontrol.pdf [Accessed 19th December 2005]. The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (2000) LTHT Infection Control Policies: Gastrointestinal Infections. Available from the World Wide Web: http://www.leedsth.nhs.uk/sites/infection_control/documents/gastro.pdf [Accessed 19th December 2005]. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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