Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI’s)

Right now there are 1.4 million people worldwide suffering from Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI’s).

What is a HAI?  Healtcare Associated Infections are infections that are picked up while receiving treatment for some other condition.  This is usually in a hospital setting, but is not confined to hospitals alone.  Doctors Surgeries, Nursing and Care homes and Clinics are all prone to spreading infectious diseases.

You will be familiar with the names of Healthcare Associated Infections.

  • MRSA
  • VRSA
  • C.Diff
  • Pneumonia (VAP – Ventilator Associated Pneumonia)

What they all have in common is that they can be picked up in Healthcare settings and are difficult to treat.

They are also relatively easy to prevent.  It all comes down to Hygiene.  Top of the Hygiene list is Hand Washing.  It is such a simple thing, but a lack of proper hand washing by patients, relatives and healthcare professionals is attributed to a high percentage of HAI cases.

The above handwashing demo is aimed at kids.  What it pointed out to me is that there really is no excuse for us growed ups to be spreading HAI’s as a result of improper hand washing.

Are Healthcare Associated Infections really that serious?  Well in 2002 98,987 people died from them in the United States.  Here in Ireland we do not have good or accurate figures.  So yes, it is an extremely serious.

Kimberly-Clark have started a campaign called “Not on My Watch“, which is a prevention and education campaign.  Follow the link and I will update this post when I have more details about the campaign in Ireland.

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