Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Working in a hospital setting always carries a risk for contracting infection. Nurses, physicians, or ward personnel’s who come in direct contact with patients are at maximum risk for contracting infection that the patient may be suffering from. The infection can be transmitted from direct contact with the patient at the time of admission or while carrying the patient to the ward, administering injections, and cleaning and scrubbing the patient. The other mode of transmission of an infection in a hospital setting is by coming in contact with the bodily fluids of the patient.

If an individual comes in contact with any fluids secreted by the patient like saliva then the individual may be at an increased risk for contracting the infection. Thus, it is extremely necessary for hospital personnel to be adequately protected from contracting any infection within the hospital setting. There are certain precautions which are mandatory for hospital staff, especially those who come in direct contact with the patient, to prevent contracting an infection.

How To Prevent infection In a Hospital Setting?

There are basically two ways to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting. The first one is the standard precautions that basically everyone takes when attending a patient and the other is transmission based precautions.

Standard Precautions. If the disease that the patient is suffering from is still unknown then the chances of the people attending the patient and contracting the same infection is quite high. Hence, a symptom based approach is taken to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting. This reduces the chances of infection spreading quite significantly.

As an example, if the patient is suffering from persistent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea then appropriate precautions should be taken immediately like wearing protective mask and gloves to prevent infection instead of waiting for a diagnosis and then going in for precautions.

This type of precaution is much more necessary as the number of unidentified superbugs is increasing by the day and the aim is to minimize the risks for contracting the disease from a patient. The precautions include:

  • Hand hygiene which means washing the hands thoroughly with a hand sanitizer before and after attending the patient and wearing protective gloves at all times.
  • Utilization of aseptic techniques if and where necessary
  • Appropriate sterilization and reprocessing of instruments that are reusable
  • Safe handling of needles and syringes and other materials which may be potentially infectious is also very necessary to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting
  • All the waste products of the patient and the linen of the hospital bed should be handled very carefully, especially when changing the linen of the hospital bed of the patient.
  • Making sure that the hospital room and the surroundings are absolutely clean and sanitized

Transmission Based Precautions. The second approach to prevention of Infection in Hospital Setting includes transmission based precautions. This is in addition to the standard precautions that need to be adhered to, to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting. This is for patients who are either suspected or confirmed to have an infection which has the potential to spread quite rapidly.

Additional precautions need to be administered depending on the standard mode of transmission of the infection from the organism which may be either airborne, droplet, or direct contact with the patient.

The transmission based precautions used to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting are:

Isolation. In this approach, the patient is quarantined and isolated from other patients and only the physician and the attendants are allowed to meet the patient to prevent spreading of infection. Even the physicians and the attendants enter the room fully protected wearing gloves and a face mask so as to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting in cases of severe respiratory issues with the patient due to infection which has the potential to spread high filtration respiratory masks are used before entering the room of the patient to Prevent Infection in Hospital Setting

All the physicians and the attendants are required to wear face masks and gloves that are disposable and should not be reused. Care should be taken to throw off disposable gowns, gloves and other protective gear so that they are not used by someone else.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 21, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest