Do you know what healthcare-associated infections are? If you don’t, then consider educating yourself on the issue because it could have a drastic impact on your health in the future.
You run to healthcare professionals whenever you’ve got ill because you trust them to banish your illnesses and ensure the health of your mind and body. As such, it might come as a surprise for you when you learn that healthcare centers are massive sources of infections and can, in fact, make your illnesses worse, especially if you fail to maintain vigilance.
Certainly, most healthcare centers are staffed with medical experts whose competency you can trust to guide you through any health complications you may encounter. However, as a study from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has pointed out, even medical experts are unable to account for all the health hazards that permeate most health centers.
This term refers to infections that one acquires during their time in a healthcare setting of one sort or another, be it a nursing home or a hospital. A report from the World Health Organization claims that healthcare-associated infections have cost the United States nearly $7 billion over the years.
These infections, which pose a grave threat to patients, are often perfectly preventable. The Centers for Disease Control has admitted that progress has been made in tackling the issue, but there is still so much that must be done, especially when it comes to the issue of contaminated floors.
Contaminated Hospital Floors
When people talk about healthcare-associated infections, they are typically referring to infections that manifest as a result of invasive tools like urinary catheters, for example. However, according to a study published on the American Journal of Infection Control, while most hospitals inject considerable efforts into disinfecting their environment, floors are often ignored. This is because they are not frequently touched by the hands of patients and health workers. The fact that hospital floors are not given priority is baffling because of how contaminated they tend to be.
The researchers here analyzed samples from 318 floor sites. They also took samples from so-called high-touch surface areas like medical devices and call buttons. While the results were not quite as concrete as expected, it was determined that high-touch objects had frequent contacts with the floor, which leads to a higher than the average transfer of pathogens to the hands.
Linda Greene from the Association for Professionals in Injection Control and Epidemiology agrees that there is a gap in infection prevention in healthcare centers that must be taken care of in order to improve the quality of care patients are receiving there.