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What Is Hospital-acquired Infections?
Date: 28th September, 2012



A hospital-acquired infections(HAI's), also called a nosocomial infection, is an infection that first appears between 48 hours and four days after a patient is admitted to a hospital or other health-care facility.


A Serious Healthcare Problem

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one out of every 20 hospitalized patients in the U.S. contracts a nosocomial infection. In other words: 5% of all hospitalizations or nearly 2 million people each year.


A CDC report from 2002 estimated 1.7 million nosocomial infections in the U.S., resulting in 99,000 deaths. A 2009 report by Emory University reaffirmed the estimate of 99,000 deaths per year.


The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID), however, a privately run nonprofit, claims the numbers of infections and deaths are actually higher than CDC estimates.RID counts the number of lives lost each year at around 103,000.


The founder of RID, Betsy McCaughey, points out: "Hospital infections kill more Americans each year than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined."


A Global Problem

Nosocomial infections are a serious health issue in many countries around the world.

A study of 55 hospitals in 14 countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that almost 9% of hospitalized patients acquired a nosocomial infection.

Nosocomial Infection Rates in Selected European Countries

France 5.4% (2006)

Italy 6.7% (2000)

United Kingdom 8.2% (2006)

Switzerland 7.2% (2004)

Finland 8.5% (2005)


The Financial Burden

Beyond the cost in terms of human lives (approx. 100,000 deaths/year), the CDC calculates the total financial cost of nosocomial infections to U.S. hospitals to be $35-$45 billion per year.

Then there are the other financial costs. By remaining hospitalized and missing work, patients may have to give up wages and pay more out-of-pocket expenses. The costs to government and insurance companies are also enormous. Longer hospital stays also limit access to hospital resources by other patients.


Types of Infections

Common types of nosocomial infections include:

·Urinary tract infection

·Bloodstream infection

·Surgical site infection


·Skin infection

·Gastrointestinal infection

·Central nervous system infection


Common pathogens that cause nosocomial infections include:

·Staphylococcus aureus (bacteria)

·Clostridium difficile (bacteria)

·Pseudomonas aeruginosa (bacteria)

·Escherichia coli (bacteria)

·Candida albicans (fungi)

·Aspergillus (fungi)

·Respiratory Syncytial (virus)

·Influenza (virus)


Although acquiring an infection in a hospital may seem safe and convenient, the opposite may be true. A nosocomial infection may be more dangerous than other infections because microorganisms in hospitals tend to develop a resistance to antibiotics, making the infection more difficult and expensive to treat.


How disposable curtains help?

Conventional hospital cubicle curtains have been known to cause HAI’s. It was discovered that 42% of hospital privacy curtains were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci(VRE), 22% with Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA). 


When disposable cubicle curtains have been introduced, backed up by other control methods, significant reductions in overall infection rates have been recorded. With UltraCare built-in antimicrobial technology, EcoMed disposable medical curtains are a proven deterrent against the spread of a whole range of bacteria including MRSA. EcoMed UltraCare silver antimicrobial additives(EPA registered) are not a spray-on, but built into the polymer structure of the non-woven fabric at the point of manufacture. The antibacterial active is evenly distributed throughout the whole curtain. Its effectiveness will last the life of the curtains. 


Call us +86 519 83998322 to know how EcoMed disposable curtain system enables your hospitals to balance time and cost against hygiene issues.

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