Infection Control

What are the most common types of infections in healthcare?

There are many types of infections that can occur in healthcare settings. The most common types of infections are those that affect the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, and the skin.

Respiratory infections are the most common type of infection in healthcare settings. These infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The most common respiratory infections include the common cold, influenza, and pneumonia.

Gastrointestinal infections are also common in healthcare settings. These infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. The most common gastrointestinal infections include gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and hepatitis A.

Skin infections are also common in healthcare settings. These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The most common skin infections include cellulitis, impetigo, and MRSA.

Healthcare-associated infections are a major problem in healthcare settings. These infections can lead to serious illness and even death. It is important for healthcare providers to take steps to prevent the spread of infections.

What are the best practices for preventing infections in healthcare?

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a serious problem in the United States. Each year, an estimated 2 million people develop an HAI, and approximately 99,000 people die from these infections.1,2

The most common HAIs are caused by bacteria, but viruses, fungi, and parasites can also cause HAIs. The most common types of bacteria that cause HAIs are Clostridium difficile (C. diff), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).3

The best way to prevent HAIs is to practice good hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is the single most important measure for preventing the spread of infection.4 Healthcare providers should wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub before and after every patient contact.5

In addition to good hand hygiene, other infection prevention measures include:

• Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in patient rooms

• Using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, and masks

• Isolating patients with infectious diseases

• Vaccinating healthcare workers and patients

• Properly disposing of needles and other sharps

• Handling and storing hazardous materials safely

• Monitoring patients for signs and symptoms of infection

• Promptly identifying and treating infections

Healthcare-associated infections are a serious problem, but they are preventable. By following good hand hygiene and other infection prevention measures, we can help keep our patients safe.

How can healthcare workers protect themselves from infections?

There are many ways that healthcare workers can protect themselves from infections. Some of the most important ways are listed below:

1. Get vaccinated

One of the best ways to protect yourself from infections is to get vaccinated. There are vaccines available for many different types of infections, including influenza, hepatitis B, and measles. Talk to your healthcare provider about which vaccines are right for you.

2. Wash your hands

Washing your hands is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and avoid touching your face.

3. Use personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment, such as gloves, gowns, and masks, can help to protect you from exposure to infections. Be sure to use the appropriate equipment for the task at hand, and dispose of it properly when you’re finished.

4. Avoid contact with sick people

If you’re sick, it’s important to stay away from other people to avoid spreading your infection. If you’re healthy, try to avoid contact with people who are sick.

5. Clean surfaces

Surfaces in healthcare settings can be a source of infection. Be sure to clean surfaces that are likely to be contaminated, such as door handles and countertops.

By following these simple tips, you can help to protect yourself from infection.