Spending time in a hospital, nursing home or any type of healthcare facility puts patients at risk for healthcare-acquired infections, or HAIs. Transmission of these bacteria comes through many sources. A major cause is using contaminated medical devices during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Other modes of transmission include improperly cleaned or maintained ice machines, table trays and assorted hospital equipment as well as contaminated high-touch surfaces throughout the facility. Patients are exposed to the germs on these surfaces through both direct and indirect contact when proper sanitation procedures are not followed.
While not every mode of transmission is preventable, such as airborne spread, there are ways to reduce the excessively high rate of infection. By adhering to industry best practices, organizations, staff members and patients can take steps to minimize the transmission of infections and diseases. For instance, patients should follow strict hand hygiene practices during their hospital stay, complete any course of antibiotics they are prescribed and monitor IV sites for redness, swelling or leakage.
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