HCAIs — Why are they so dangerous?
Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs/ HAIs) are defined as infections that are a direct result of treatment in a healthcare or social care setting.
The most common types of HCAIs are respiratory infections (22.8%), UTIs (17.2%) and surgical site infections (15.7%). The most common infections that are contracted in a healthcare settings are:
- C. Difficile
These all cause a patient to get very ill due to the severity of their symptoms.
It is estimated that 300,000 people a year in the UK acquire HCAIs as a result of care through the NHS. Obviously, this comes as a significant cost to the NHS along with threats to the health of those with a lowered immune system.
MRSA contributes to approximately 9000 deaths in hospitals and primary care in England a year, according to a study done in 2012. Luckily, through the means of various sanitisation policies and a focus on proper infection control procedures, this number is beginning to drop.
Throughout the years, the Department of Health has implemented a range of policies and measures that are designed to lower the rate of infection, but it is still important to practice good sanitisation procedures outside of a healthcare setting to prevent the rate of infection rising.
There are a few ways in which the Department of Health recommends to hopefully lower the rate of infection.
One of these includes improved management of patients with Urinary catheters, as the spread of UTIs significantly increases with the use of invasive devices due to various medical reasons.
Another highly recommended policy is the improvement of communication, guidance, training, and surveillance between all members of staff within the healthcare setting, not just the housekeeping employees. This will allow all staff to be aware of the risks and practice good hygiene to help lower the rate of infection.
With the lowering of infection rates will also come the reduction of antibiotics being needed to treat these infections, again, helping the NHS keep costs low and also protect the health of those in a patient setting.