Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI or HCAI) are infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions. Healthcare-Associated Infections are infections caused by a wide variety of common and unusual bacteria, fungi, and viruses during the course of receiving medical care.
Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and it estimated that 6 million healthcare-associated infections occur each year across the Europe, United States and Japan alone. The exact worldwide estimate of Healthcare-Associated Infections are not available because of various constrains in gathering data yet it is clear that every year millions of patients are affected by Healthcare-Associated Infections (Burden of HCAI - WHO). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 1.7 million infections resulting in approximately 99,000 deaths annually in the United States, making healthcare-associated infections the fourth leading cause of death. There is very less data available from developing countries where the HAIs are higher than that of developed countries.
Globally HAI continues as major problem. Approximately 1 out of every 20 hospitalized patients will contract an HAI (CDC).
Antibiotic resistant organisms are growing day by day. Here are prevalence of HAI in USA, Europe, Japan and India (biomerieux) :
• USA: Up to 2 million healthcare-associated infections per year, of which 80,000 are lethal or may contribute to death.
• Europe: 5 million HAI per year, of which 50,000 (1%) are lethal and contribute to death in 135,000 cases (2.7%).
• Japan: Resistance Isolation Rate of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus): 40-80%
• India: An estimated 10 to 30% of patients admitted to hospitals and nursing homes acquire a nosocomial infection.
• Up to 70% of organisms causing HAI are resistant to at least one antibiotic.
India has joined hands to fight the spread of Health Care-Associated Infections. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in association with the World Health Organization launched the Global Patient Safety Challenge and signed a pledge to acknowledge India’s commitment to address this problem.
In view of above Hospital infection control stands as a major challenge to the Hospital Administrator.
The presentation describes in brief, what is Healthcare -Associated Infection, how it spreads, and how to control it for present and prevent it in future (Also refer WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygine in Healthcare)