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Healthcare associated infections – Australian study

Most people expect hospital treatment to make them better. But for some, a stay in hospital can make patients sicker. Their wound might get infected after an operation or they might get a blood infection as a result of a medical procedure.  A recent article in the Journal Antimicrobial Resistant and Infection Control found one in ten adult patients in hospital with an acute condition had a healthcare associated infections (HCAI). Most of these infections can be prevented. So it is important to know what type of infections they are, how common they are and which patients get them.  Left unchecked, these infections can make already sick patients sicker, can divert hospital resources unnecessarily, and can kill.

The most common infections were wound infections (surgical site infections), pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Infections were also found in patients with a medical device I.E. IV lines or urinary catheters.  Intensive care units treat patients who are gravely unwell and at greater risk of infection.

Reference: Russo P.L., Stewardson A.J, Cheng A.C., Bucknall T. & Mitchell B.G (2019). The prevalence of HCAI among adult inpatients at nineteen large Australia acute-care public hospitals: a point prevalence survey.  Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 8:114.

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