Nosocomial Infections

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Definition

An emerging infection that arises after the admission to a hospital or medical facility is known as a nosocomial infection. According to the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (NNIS), a nosocomial infection is defined as a localized or systemic condition resulting from a negative reaction to the presence of an infectious agent(s) and/or its toxins secreted that was not present or incubating at the time of admission to the hospital.[1]

These infections are due to many causes: failure of medical personnel to adequately wash hands, fail to change PPE between patients, improper sterilization of re-usable medical devices, improper sterilization of insertion/incision sites, and failure to comply with other prevention measures established by the hospital.

(Wisplinghoff, et al. 2000)

Types of Nosocomial Infections

Choi notes that in recent decades, Acinetobacter species plagues severely ill patients and induces a variety of nosocomial infections including:[2]

  • bacteremia
  • meningitis
  • pneumonia
  • skin and wound infections
  • urinary tract infections

References

  1. Garner JS, Jarvis WR, Emori TG, Horan TC, Hughes JM. (1996). CDC definitions for nosocomial infections. APIC Infection Control and Applied Epidemiology: Principles and Practice. A1-A20.
  2. Choi, CH, et al. (2005). Outer membrane protein 38 of Acinetobacter baumannii localizes to the mitochondria and induces apoptosis of epithelial cells. Cellular Microbiology. 7, 1127-1138.

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