Principal Routes of Transmission of Nosocomial Infections

Subject: Other Medical Specialties
Pages: 3
Words: 594
Reading time:
2 min

The concept of nosocomial infections includes infections of a different nature. However, its most optimal definition can be presented as follows. A nosocomial infection is any pathological condition, clinically expressed, caused by microorganisms, which arose in a patient as a result of his hospitalization or visiting a health care institution for treatment. It can also arise from medical personnel in connection with the performance of professional duties. The primary sources of nosocomial infections are the patients themselves and the staff of the medical institution. In addition, the source of nosocomial infections can be relatives and relatives of patients who visit them or take care of them. Besides, rodents, dogs, or cats can also transmit the infection.

The transmission of nosocomial infection can be as follows: fecal-oral mechanism (it includes water, food, and contact-household ways of spreading nosocomial infections), airborne, transmissible (bites by blood-sucking insects), contact, or vertical. The causes of nosocomial infections can be the following types of nosocomial infections: bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoal, metazoic (helminthiases). However, the vast majority of all nosocomial infections can be caused by various bacteria and no other life forms. Thus, bacterial agents precisely determine the structure of nosocomial infections.

Diseases related to nosocomial infection often arise in connection with the installation of peripheral and central venous catheters. Most often, the infection enters the bloodstream through the catheter as part of solutions, drugs, from the system for infusing solutions, through the skin at the site of the catheter, and hematogenously from sources of nosocomial infections. That is why particular importance should be paid to the puncture site’s sterility and systems for infusion of solutions, connecting ports.

Hand hygiene of a health worker is of particular importance in countering the spread of nosocomial infections. Thus, the treatment of hands before and after contact with the vascular catheter is a prerequisite. The outer part of the catheter (plug, injection port) must be treated with an antiseptic before each procedure. The removed plugs are stored in a sterile napkin moistened with an antiseptic while the solution is infused into the catheter. It is the infection of plugs, ports, connecting components that is considered the most common cause of infection in the blood through the catheter. The main general rule for preventing nosocomial infections is the timely implementation of disinfection, measures to combat insects, rodents, and pre-sterilization treatment and sterilization of medical devices and equipment.

Unfortunately, in developing countries, the rates of nosocomial infections are markedly higher for three reasons. First, it is poor infection prevention practices due to the lack of timely equipment and medical supplies. Second, it is the absence of adequate supervision due to the low funding and the resulting medical staff shortage. The third reason being the overcrowding of hospitals is inherently linked to the previous one.

There are five main reasons for the spread of nosocomial infections. First, an increase in the number of carriers, resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants, strains of microorganisms among medical personnel, the formation of a population of nosocomial strains, and contamination of the air, hands of personnel, and objects. Second, an increase in the number of carriers of resistant strains in the population of medical workers. Third, the widespread use of research and treatment methods involving contact with the body’s internal environment. Fourth, the uncontrolled use of antibiotics by patients leads to the formation of resistance in microorganisms. Finally, the violation of the rules of sanitary and hygienic, and anti-epidemic regimes by both patients and hospital staff.