Infection Control

Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) Surveillance:

A healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is usually related to a procedure or treatment used to diagnose or treat a patient's initial illness or injury, which appears between two and four days after a patient is admitted.

Hays Medical Center strives to improve its quality of clinical care by carrying out ongoing surveillance and monitoring of infection in seven major areas related to healthcare associated infections. These include central line infections, surgical site infections, respiratory infections, blood stream infections, urinary tract infections and Clostridium difficile infections and MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) related infections.

Not all infections can be eliminated, but many can be prevented through good medical and nursing care. HaysMed emphasizes good hand hygiene and the use of gloves and other personal protective equipment. In addition HaysMed employees are required to have a flu shot every year and be updated with all vaccinations.

MRSA Infections

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium responsible for several difficult to treat infections in humans. It may also be called multidrug-resistant staphylococcus aureus or oxacillin-reistant Staphylococcus aureus (ORSA). MRSA is especially troublesome in hospitals where patients with open wounds, invasive devices and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the general public.

Prevention of MRSA includes; screening of patients upon admission, surface sanitizing of hospital equipment and examination rooms, appropriate hand washing by healthcare workers and caregivers, isolation of MRSA cases and restricting antibiotic use to prevent resistance.

Blood Stream Infections

Bacteria can enter the bloodstream as a severe complication of infections.

In the hospital, indwelling catheters are a frequent cause of bacteremia and subsequent nosocomial infections because they provide a means by which bacteria found on the skin can enter the bloodstream. Other causes include; urinary tract infections, clostridium difficile colitis, dental procedures, herpes infections, intravenous drug use and surgery involving mucus membranes.

Treatment is with antibiotics and prevention with antibiotic prophylaxis can be given in situations where problems are to be expected.

Clostridium-difficille(C-diff) Infections:

Acquisition of Clostridium.difficile occurs by oral ingestion of spores that resist the acidity of the stomach. These spores germinate into vegetative bacteria in the small intestine and result in severe diarrhea and colitis. These spores persist in the environment for many months and are highly resistant to cleaning and disinfection measures. The two major reservoirs of Clostridium-difficile in healthcare settings are infected humans and inanimate objects. Clostridum-difficile can also be obtained by over use of antibiotics that destroy the good flora as well as the bad flora of the intestines. Transmission occurs via a fecal-oral route, so any activity that may result in movement of the organism into the mouth must be addressed.

Prevention of C-diff infections at HaysMed is surface sanitizing of hospital equipment and patient rooms, appropriate hand washing with soap and water, isolation of C-diff patients and restricting antibiotic use.

Surgical site infections:

The CDC bench mark for health care-associated surgical site infections is 2% monthly. This means that 2% of all in-patients will get an infection at the site of surgery every month. Hays Med is below the bench mark of 2% every month.

Surgical site infections are prevented at HaysMed by good hand washing with soap and water or the cleaning of hands with our hand gels, good housekeeping, aseptic technique in the operating rooms and proper use of antibiotics.

Respiratory infections:

Respiratory tract infection refers to any of a number of infectious diseases involving the respiratory tract. An infection of this type is normally further classified as an upper respiratory tract infection (URI or URTI) or a lower respiratory tract infection (LRI or LRTI). Lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, tend to be far more serious conditions than upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold.

Our respiratory infection rate at HaysMed is very low (0-0.5) %. Not all respiratory infections can be eliminated, but many can be prevented by good hand washing, ambulating patients as soon as possible and other good nursing cares.

Catheter associated urinary tract infections:

Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs in someone who has a tube (called a catheter) in place to drain urine from the body. If a urinary catheter is left in place for a long time, bacteria will grow in it. A harmful infection may occur if the number of bacteria becomes large or if specific harmful bacteria grow in the urinary tract.

Catheter associated urinary tract infections can be prevented by good hand washing, aseptic technique with the insertion of the Foley catheter, use of gloves, early ambulation and good medical and nursing care of the patient.

Catheter associated urinary tract infections have decreased considerably over the past year at HaysMed.