Scientific Approach to Hospital-Acquired Infections

The key element addressed by the two articles pertains to the problem of hospital-acquired infections (HAI). The infections mainly occur due to contamination and dirtiness in the hospital environment. Bacteria are hatched and spread under a dirty surrounding that is then transmitted to visiting people and patients. The problem is much more enhanced due to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria that cause illnesses that are hard to cure using ordinary antibiotics. Chirca’s (2019) and Dancer’s (2010) articles are focused on describing how the hospital environment has led to the development and transmission of pathogens leading to the hospital transitioned infections.

How do Pathogens Spread in the Hospital Environment?

The medical fraternity is faced with the challenge of containing infections acquired in the hospital environment. Pathogens can survive in a dirty hospital environment. They then spread through a surrounding where people frequently touch with their hands, and patients encounter the greatest risk of infection. According to Chirca (2019), patients are the ones who spread pathogens to the hospital surroundings. Inside the hospital, nurses do clean the surfaces such as tables, drip stands, bed rails, and lockers. They also conduct sterilization of sensitive hospital equipment. However, the nature of transmission of infections within the hospital is complex as it involves various parties, including the patients, nurses, as well as hospital equipment.

What Approaches Can Help to Reduce the Rate of Hospital Acquired Infections?

Cleanliness within the hospital environment can help to reduce the increasing rate of infections within the hospital. On the contrary, Dancer (2010) points out that there is no evidence-based research that has conclusively shown that cleanliness can reduce the transmission of infections within the hospital. It is important that cleaning is affected using disinfectants which include alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and peracetic acid, among others. The disinfectants can either be used independently or in combination with other measures such as frequent surveillance and the use of fresh no-touch cleaning technology, for instance, ultraviolet light.

Enhanced cleaning using the technologies has shown the potential of reducing the spread of infections within the hospital through contamination. According to Dancer (2010), targeted cleaning using disinfectants is a cheap intervention and has been used to reduce the rate of MRSA infection in the clinical wards. Also, Chirca (2019) states that lethal cleaning by means of hydrogen peroxide applied through aerosolized / vapor delivery technique has proved to be helpful in lessening the problem of disease-causing bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumanii, MRSA, and P. aeruginosa. The mechanism has helped to significantly reduce the HAI.

Conclusion

Infections acquired within the hospital can be reduced if nurses and patients adhere to the set rules and precautions. Cleaning by itself will get rid of the pathogens, but it does not guarantee contamination of the hospital surrounding. Coffee (2021) outlines that for enhanced prevention the infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set out standard precautions that must be observed. The measures are intended to be observed by all hospitals. The safeguards include appropriate disposal of gloves contaminated with patients’ fluids, nurses must change gloves when attending to different patients, use of protective gear (face shields, goggles, glasses, masks, and waterproof gowns), cleansing contaminated equipment and surfaces, using resuscitation apparatus when needed instead of the common use of the mouth, disposal bins should not be easily punctured, and hands must be washed regularly. The measures are intended to protect workers within the hospitals as well as patients from contracting infections within the hospital environment.

References

Chirca, I. (2019). The hospital environment and its microbial burden: Challenges and solutions. Future Microbiology, 14(12), 1007–1010. Web.

Coffee, M. (2021). Infection Prevention Control in Hospitals. Verywellhealth.com.

Dancer, S. J. (2010). The role of environmental cleaning in the control of hospital-acquired infection. The Journal of Hospital Infection, 73(4), 378–385. Web.