Ways that hospital-acquired infections may occur

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Blog, Hospital Negligence

Hospital-acquired infections pose a major risk to patients in health care facilities across New Mexico. These infections, also called health care-associated infections, can occur due to various factors. They may also mean hospital negligence.

Understanding how these infections often occur is important to mitigate risks and ensure patient safety.

Inadequate hand hygiene

According to studies, some health care providers fall short on hand hygiene more than half of the time. Not washing hands thoroughly and regularly can lead to the transmission of harmful pathogens from medical staff to patients or from one patient to another. It increases the risk of infections such as MRSA and C. difficile.

Contaminated medical equipment

Equipment such as ventilators, catheters and surgical instruments must undergo proper sterilization and maintenance to prevent the spread of infections. Otherwise, improper sterilization can lead to bacteria and virus transmission from contaminated equipment to patients.

Improper environmental cleaning

Inadequate cleaning and disinfection of hospital environments can also contribute to the spread of infections. Surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops and patient beds can harbor pathogens if not cleaned regularly and effectively. Health care facilities must implement robust cleaning protocols to minimize the risk of environmental contamination and subsequent infections.

Overcrowding and patient placement

Overcrowding in hospitals may increase the risk of hospital-acquired infections. For example, it limits the ability to isolate patients. In overcrowded facilities, patients may be close to one another. This increases the likelihood of transmission of infectious agents.

Inadequate staffing and training

Inadequate staffing and training can also contribute to hospital-acquired infections. Overworked and undertrained staff may overlook infection control measures, such as proper hand hygiene and environmental cleaning. This puts patients at risk.

By prioritizing infection control measures and adherence to protocols, health care providers can lower the risk of hospital-acquired infections and protect the well-being of their patients.


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