Infection control and universal precautions Essay

The rule of infection control is something that is going progressively of import in infirmaries and healthcare scenes. This is chiefly because of the adversity and enduring it causes to the patient who acquires an infection whilst in infirmary and besides because of the cost it brings to our already under funded infirmaries from increased corsets and healthcare workers falling ailment.

The writer will discourse the principal of infection control and by showing the effectivity of techniques such as manus lavation and cosmopolitan safeguards will find its relevancy. One of the major infections acquired in infirmaries. urinary piece of land infections will besides be explored and by mentioning to relevant research the writer will look into its preventability.

For some infection control is the latest cant on infirmary wards. nevertheless. its significance is slightly unmarked. Hospital acquired infections ( HAI ) . which are a consequence of hapless infection control history for around 10 % in the UK. to day of the month there are no accurate figures for Ireland but it is reckoned to be the same ( Rogers. 2000 ) . Harmonizing to Rizzo ( 1999 ) . a HAI is normally one that first appears three yearss after a patient is admitted into infirmary. They are besides called nosocomial infections. Germany differs slightly to the happening of HAI’s as they have had a holistic scheme in infirmary hygiene since 1976 which has resulted in the lowest rates of infection amongst patients compared with the remainder of Europe ( e. g. Germany 3. 5 % . France 6. 7 % . UK 10 % ) ( Exner. Hartemann and Kistemann. 2001 ) .

It is because of infection control that since the beginning of the twentieth century life anticipation has increased by more so 30 old ages along with life quality. The chief grounds for these consequences are betterments of the economic state of affairs of the population. lodging and domestic scenes. nutritionary position. instruction. motive to execute personal hygiene. centralised H2O and sewerage systems. handiness of extremely efficient vaccinums and find of new drugs ( Exner et al. 2001 ) .

As discussed earlier. since the beginning of the century adult male has had impressive consequences in increasing life anticipation but harmonizing to Exner et Al ( 2001 ) . “after the obliteration of little syphilis led to the belief that the book of infective diseases could be closed. A systematic decrease of the institutional substructure began. and consciousness of infective disease hazards in the population declined” . Unfortunately since the obliteration of little syphiliss. new pathogens have emerged such as HIV. AIDS. MRSA. Hepatitis A and B and diseases. which were one time under control. have now reemerged such as TB. Human behaviour has besides changed most notably in sexual life styles. the one time prevailing being of monogamousness has ceased and progressively people are going more promiscuous taking to the spread of STD’s/STI’s such as poxs. All this has presented our infirmaries with a immense undertaking of commanding these infections and forestalling them from distributing to other patients and wellness attention workers.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococci aureus ( MRSA ) . which is the antibiotic immune micro-organism. is now an recognized portion of both infirmaries and nursing places and has resulted from the abuse of antibiotics. hapless hygiene criterions such as ward design. deficiency of isolation. unequal unfertile techniques ( Exner et al. 2001 ) . Nurses and physicians sometimes think that infection control is used to protect other patients and themselves from infection but it is besides used to forestall the patient with the infection. as they may be immuno-comprimised such as in the instance of leukemia. As the writer has demonstrated. infection control is an indispensable portion of forestalling the spread of infection. of antibiotic opposition and of the formation of new strains of infection. Harmonizing to Rizzo ( 1999 ) . HAI’s consequence in decease in 1 % of instances. Infection control techniques will now be discussed to foreground how the spread of infection is minimized.

The writer himself spent several hebdomads on a male surgical ward in the Mercy Hospital. Cork and observed for himself infection control methods and how they are implemented in pattern. The major and most common method of infection control was that of manus rinsing. Although this is such a simple. speedy pattern there is hapless conformity on the wards by RGN’s and particularly Physicians. The writer will discourse the principle and effectivity of manus lavation.

Handss are an ideal genteelness land for all kinds of bacteriums as they are warm and moist. “The microbic vegetation of the tegument consists of transient and resident micro-organisms ; resident micro-organisms survive and multiply on the tegument and can be repeatedly cultured. while transeunt microbic vegetation represent recent contaminations that can last merely a limited period of clip. ” ( Centres for Disease Control. 1985 ) . In the Centres for Disease Control’s ( CDC ) Guideline for Hand-washing and Hospital Environment Control ( 1985 ) p. 6. they describe manus lavation as “vigorous. brief rubbing together of all surfaces of lathered custodies. followed by rinsing under a watercourse of water” . Plain soaps are effectual in taking transeunt microbic vegetations while antimicrobic manus washes can be used to take resident micro-organisms. In the ward the writer worked they used ‘hibiscrub’ which was a Chlorhexidine based antimicrobic and is besides used in surgery so is highly effectual in cleaning custodies. Chlorhexidine is effectual against a wide spectrum of pathogens such as HIV. herpes simplex. grippe and gm positive and negative bacteriums ( APIC. 1995 ) .

There are no rigorous indicants for manus lavation but common sense by and large prevails. On the wards. the writer observed manus rinsing after coming on and off responsibility. before and after interruptions. before and after finishing any invasive process. covering with immuno-compromised patients. after being in contact with any organic structure fluids and before and after lavatory. It was non necessary to rinse custodies while making everyday undertakings such as blood force per unit areas. temperature. and pulse although if the patient was query MRSA so manus rinsing and barrier protection such as baseball mitts and gown would be necessary.

The CDC recommends rinsing custodies for 15 seconds. nevertheless on the wards the writer washed his custodies as per infirmary policy that was displayed over the sink. Although infirmary policy within the Mercy Hospital permits the erosion of a nuptials ring this is non ideal nursing pattern as harmonizing to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control ( APIC ) . ( 1995 ) . entire bacterial counts are higher when rings are worn and can do wearing baseball mitts more hard and may do baseball mitts to rupture more readily. However. ritual pattern frequently tends to travel against infection control guidelines. The writer will now analyze urinary piece of land infections ( UTI ) that are the most common of all HAI’s.

UTI’s arise where there is an infection of the urinary piece of land. They tend to be more common amongst adult females as they have shorter urethras. In the CDC’s
Guideline for Prevention of Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections they province that the rate of infection from UTI’s is more than 40 % and 66 % -86 % of these infections are as a direct consequence of catheterisation. UTI’s are caused by a assortment of pathogens. including E-coli. Proteus and Pseudomonas to call a few.

Catheterization is indicated in several fortunes ; to re-establish the flow of urine in urinary keeping. incontinency. to empty the vesica preoperatively. to let monitoring of fluid end product and to ease vesica irrigation ( Jamieson. McCall. Blythe and Whyte. 1999 ) . The possible entry points for infection on a catheter are at the drainage mercantile establishment. connexion to drainage bag and reflux from bag to tubing. sample port. junction between catheter and connexion tube and around the urethral gap ( Cassidy. Nurse2Nurse. Internet Explorer ) . To minimise infection there are a figure of stairss that can be taken.

First the nurse or physician must inquire themselves is cathetherisation necessary? If it is required so the right type of catheter should be utilized. For illustration. a rubber manner catheter can be used for a male patient as this decreases the hazard of infection as no tubing is placed up the urethra. In the female patient closed drainage catheter can be used as this has been shown to cut down infection from 100 % to 25 % ( CDC. 2000 ) . Intermittent catheterisation may be used as this has an infection rate of between 1 % -5 % ( CDC. 2000 ) . During interpolation of catheter rigorous sterile technique should be used by rinsing custodies. have oning unfertile baseball mitts and right interpolation technique. The patient should be educated on catheter attention and should be told non to let the catheter tubing to crimp.

The drainage mercantile establishment ( if unfastened drainage system is used ) should merely be opened when necessary. as this will present micro-organisms and that when bag is being emptied it should non touch off anything. If unfastened drainage system was used. the writer wiped the terminal of the catheter with an intoxicant rub to forestall infection. The preferable method of trying piss is from the trying port instead than from the drainage mercantile establishment. Daily cleaning of the catheter entry point to the urethra will cut down hazard of UTI. Acerate leaf to state brief periods of catheterisation are preferred to indwelling catheters. Unfortunately. catheterisation can non be avoided and either can some UTI’s but with right nursing pattern the rate of UTI’s can be reduced.

Since 1985. as a direct consequence of the AIDS epidemic. Cosmopolitan Precautions ( UP ) were introduced by the CDC. As more and more instances of HIV/AIDS were diagnosed the CDC felt that there might be a significant sum of undiagnosed instances. The CDC implemented the UP’s which were. as the name suggests. universally applied as anyone admitted into infirmary as they potentially had HIV/AIDS or any other blood borne infection.

The usage of traditional barriers. baseball mitts and gowns continued but was updated with the usage of masks and oculus coverings to protect the mucose membranes. Individual resuscitation devices were besides indicated. UP’s were applied to blood and organic structure fluids such as seeds. vaginal secernments. amnionic. cerebrospinal. pericardiac and synovial fluids. The hazard of transmittal from fecal matters. rhinal secernments. phlegm. perspiration or cryings was dismissed unless they were visibly contaminated with blood ( CDC. 1997 ) . The writer observed the usage of UP’s as there was an eruption of the SSRV ( little structured unit of ammunition virus ) .

An isolation room was set up for anyone who was query SSRV infected as the virus was transmitted through puke and fecal matters ( Southern Health Board. 2002 ) . Healthcare workers and visitants come ining the room had to have on baseball mitts. gowns and masks. as the SSRV was potentially air borne. Visiting limitations were implemented to avoid the virus come ining or go forthing the infirmary. Student nurses were non allowed into the isolation room as it was considered that they would be in contact with a batch of people in crowded countries such as saloons and cabarets. All elected admittances were besides cancelled ( Nelly Bamberry. 2002 ) . The program of action that the infection control squad implemented was successful and resulted in the obliteration of the virus from the infirmary.

So in decision. it has been demonstrated that infection control is a cardinal component of nursing pattern. Nurses have a important function in forestalling transmittal of viruses. bacteriums and Fungis by merely rinsing their custodies on a regular basis. As the writer has confirmed. manus lavation is the most effectual method in infection control. Universal Precautions avoid the hazard of blood borne and air borne pathogens being transmitted to healthcare forces and to the infirmary population forestalling a local epidemic which can close down wards. as was the instance of the SSRV. The preventability of UTI’s is every bit simple as reexamining a patient’s suitableness and utilizing right sterile techniques. Infection control is non rocket scientific discipline but the inquiry must be asked why do rates of infection reach 10 % in this state?


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