As surgeries pick up, docs warn against infections from hospitals
With elective surgeries and other medical procedures picking up as COVID cases have declined, doctors are warning against hospital acquired infections (HAI) like catheter infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections and others.
These infections that a patient contracts during a hospital visit or stay are a major threat to vulnerable patients such as those undergoing long-term, acute-care treatment in intensive care units and patients with weakened immune system. Some of the very common HAIs are central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
“The common HAIs are mainly due to bacterial or fungal infections. It can increase hospitalisation and can lead to further complications. The site of surgery or implant can also suffer from infection. Preventive measures like minimum poking, complete coverage, cleaning, disinfection and others have to be taken,” said Dr Subramanian Swaminathan, senior consultant, infectious diseases and director of infection control, Gleneagles Global Health City.
While hospitals need to take preventive measures, patients should also ensure that the hospitals have NABH accreditation and authorities should make sure that they adhered to these measures, he said. “The infection rate of each hospital being available in public domain is necessary to ensure that the patient may choose a hospital based on this information,” added Dr Swaminathan.
Doctors added that there was a lack of awareness about HAI, which results in spending more on hospitalisation and treatment due to secondary infections.
“Several measures such as administering tetanus injection before implants and cleaning equipment for bloodstream procedures before surgery are important to prevent infections. People should be aware of these risks associated with medical procedures, which can lead to more complications and infections, and can cause increased hospitalisation,” said senior general medicine consultant Dr C Jagadeesan.