Hospital Infections

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Assignment 1: Issues in Public Health- Nosocomial Infections

Nosocomial infections are defined simply as hospital-acquired infections. These infections are not present initially and typically occur within 48 hours of a patient’s admission, within 3 days of discharge or approximately 30 days after an operation. (Inweregbu, Dave & Pittard, 2005) Not just in the United States, but also globally, such infections are rising significantly with no solutions available currently. And, though it is exceedingly difficult to gather reliable information, especially within smaller countries, it has been shown that hundreds of millions of individuals are impacted by such infections each year. Nosocomial infections are an endemic globally with high incidence in both developed and undeveloped countries. Such infections are particularly pertinent in both ICU and NICU patients. In America, it is typical to find that 4.5% of patients will fall ill to such infections when taking the entire population into consideration. European countries see a prevalence rate of approximately 7.1% when considering the population as a whole. These rates will become higher when looking at a sample such as the ICU or NICU where rate of infection can range from 30%-51%, taking into consideration, the longer the stay the greater the risk. (World Health Organization) However, when considering the low and middle-income populations of underdeveloped countries, these rates are considerably higher. It is estimated that up to 19.1% of patients will become sick with a secondary hospital acquired infection. These rates can range from three to nineteen times higher than a developed country depending on the type of infection. When considering the ICU and NICU, where all nosocomial infections are most prevalent, an underdeveloped country will typically have 42.7/1000 patients with an infection at the low end…...

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