Nosocomial Infections: A Hazard When Working in Health Care Facilities

Author: Safetech Environmental Ltd | | Categories: Building , Canada , Community Safe , environment , Environmental Consulting , Hazardous Building Materials Assessment , Health Care Facilities , Hospital , Infections , Nosocomial Infections , Safety , Safety First , Sickness , Symptoms , Work

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Have you ever heard of a nosocomial infection? It’s an infection that one gets when visiting a hospital and is also referred to as a “hospital-acquired infection” or a “health-care associated infection”. These infections occur when someone gets sick within 48hours after visiting a healthcare facility. A nosocomial infection happens when germs are transmitted by patients, individuals visiting the hospital, and healthcare professionals. 

A nosocomial infection can be life-threatening, especially for patients whose immune system is compromised (ie. recent surgery). This is also true if the infection is left-untreated. 

There are three types of nosocomial infections: 

  1. Bacterial. This is the common type of nosocomial infection to occur and most of the time, it usually does not bring about a serious illness. Examples of bacteria include E.coli and Staph.  

  2. Fungal. Depending on the type of fungus, this might bring about a serious illness. Examples of the most common type of fungi nosocomial infection include Candida and Aspergillus. 

  3. Viral. Typically, a viral nosocomial infection will cause the most severe illness. Examples of the most common include influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. 

 

After visiting a hospital, one should be on the lookout for the following common symptoms that one typically gets from getting a nosocomial infection (note, this list is not exclusive): 

  • Fever 
  • Burn during urination
  • Cough
  • Sore muscles
  • Sweating 
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Extreme weakness

 

So you might be wondering, what does a nosocomial infection have to do with environmental consulting? The answer is simple: we, as consultants, also work in hospital settings. For this reason, any and all environmental service personnel involved in projects for healthcare facilities must have an understanding of construction-related infection control and the measures/procedures necessary to prevent this hazard. 

During construction and/or renovations within healthcare facilities, the contaminated dust particles (with bacteria or fungi) can and will easily disperse. This will pose a great health threat to everyone in the hospital that is near the area.

It is necessary that during construction and renovation projects (or any engineering services), infection prevention and control is prioritized to prevent nosocomial infections and other health risks. 

If you’re reading this blog and you are required to complete a training course for construction-related infection control for work, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more details!

 

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