What Patients Need to Know About Hospital-Acquired Infections

No one likes having to stay in the hospital, but the discomfort becomes even worse when patients in New Mexico acquire an infection from the very place that is supposed to be making them well. Doctor errors and negligence can allow bacteria and viruses to enter the body and cause additional suffering and sometimes even death. There are several ways this can happen.

Medscape states that hospitals have made progress in recent years in the number of acquired infections, but there is still room for improvement. The number of patients estimated to have one or more of this type of infection is 648,000. People who were staying in the hospital seemed to acquire at least one infection 5 percent of the time. Numbers in the pediatric units were higher, with 11.4 percent of NICU patients and 11.9 percent of those in the PICU experiencing this type of infection.

Areas where catheters and IV lines enter the body are prime spots for germs to get in. Ventilators placed down the throat can also make lungs susceptible to pneumonia. When inserted lines are left in for too long, they are more likely to become infected. Antibiotics can also wipe out the good bacteria and increase the patient’s risk of being overwhelmed with harmful bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the infection acquired during surgery can be serious and affect organs and internal tissues or more superficial and stay within the layers of the skin. Diseases contracted from ventilators generally travel into the patient’s lungs and cause pneumonia. No matter where the infection occurs, medical providers need to quickly treat the problem before it becomes worse. 

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