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Infections in health care facilities

Updated on November 6, 2008

How can this happen?

Why do infections occur in health care facilities? As with most anything else, there are various reasons. There are two in particular basic reasons.....

1. Many sick people are treated in close quarters

There are microorganisms ( bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites ) present in a vast amount and they can cause harm.

There are too many freqeunt contacts made between already infected patients who are contagious and the people who are at risk for infection.

Patients are frequently coming and going at health care facilities so there are large amounts of contaminated wastes, equipment and supplies that must be handled and dealt with accordingly.

2. Some procedures that save lives may increase the risk of infection.

If you require a catherization ( insertion of a tube into the body to drain fluids ) during your stay at a health care facility, a pathway which bacteria can enter has now been created.

Having any type of surgery requires cutting the skin. Your skin is one of your body's most important defenses against infection.

If you have had an asthma attack or difficulty breathing you may require Inhalation Therapy. This therapy uses moisture, which can encourage growth of harmful bacteria.

A little FYI:

Antibiotics can also increase the risk of infection. They do kill disease-causing bacteria but they can also kill helpful bacteria. Without your helpful bacteria, your body may be unable to fight away infection.


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