When someone develops an infection at a hospital or other patient care facility that they did not have prior to treatment, this is referred to as a healthcare-associated (sometimes hospital-acquired) infection (HAI).
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a global crisis affecting both patients and healthcare workers.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at any point in time, 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infections acquired in hospitals. As birth advocates at DrMomma.org, we know that newborns and their mothers are significantly more likely to suffer HAIs when birthed in a hospital setting than if they are birthed at home. HAIs truly are an epidemic in the United States. A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report published in March-April 2007 estimated the number of U.S. deaths from healthcare associated infections to be 98,987 during ONE year alone. Unfortunately, those numbers have continued to rise in recent years.
Afflicting thousands of patients every year, HAI often leads to lengthening hospitalization, increasing the likelihood of readmission, and adding sizably to the cost of care per patient.
Financially, HAIs represent an estimated annual impact of $6.7 billion to healthcare facilities, but the human cost is even higher.
Until recently, a lack of HAI reporting requirements for healthcare facilities in the U.S. has contributed to less-than-optimal emphasis being placed on eliminating the sources of healthcare associated infections. Growing public anxiety regarding the issue and resulting legislation on state and local levels demanding accountability is serving to accelerate initiatives to combat HAIs. It cannot happen quickly enough.
Types of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Ventilator - Associated Pneumonia (VAP)
VAP is the source of the highest morbidity and mortality of all Healthcare Associated Infections.
Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)
Any breach of patient skin can lead to a surgical site infection.
Cross Contamination (Contact Transfer)
Contact transfer (touch contamination) is the number one source of Healthcare Associated Infections.
To protect patients by reducing the risk of HAI, healthcare professionals must continually update their knowledge of infection management.
As part of an ongoing commitment to quality care and infection prevention, doctors and hospitals nationwide are partnering with Kimberly-Clark to deliver continuing education programs on HAI prevention to staff and management. As simple as education sounds, busy doctors and nurses often find it difficult to take advantage of scheduled programs within their hospitals.
The HAI Education Program is part of a national infection awareness campaign for healthcare professionals called “Not on My Watch” and provides facilities with a toolkit that contains informational flyers, patient safety tips and posters.
The "Not on My Watch" campaign provides accredited continuing education (CE) programs based on best practices and guidelines, as well as research available on reducing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections.
To learn more about the impact of healthcare-associated infections for both medical professionals and patients, please visit www.haiwatch.com.
A lot of people still consider hospitals to be pristine and clean.ReplyDelete
I was welcomed into the world and given a different perspective. After a traumatic birth that required rescus and reconstructive surgery, I developed MRSA so badly they didn't think I would survive. It also took them awhile to figure out I was having an allergic reaction to the eye goop and they told my parents I was probably blind. *rolls eyes*
At any rate, I'll birth at home on the toilet and consider it much cleaner. Besides, DH just installed a new one. :)