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Prevention of healthcare-associated infections: protecting patients, saving lives

Raja Danasekaran, Geetha Mani, Kalaivani Annadurai.

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are those infections which the patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment and are not present or incubating at the time of admission. It also includes infections which appear after discharge and occupational infections among healthcare staff. These infections are mostly caused by viral, bacterial or fungal pathogens and the most common types of HAIs include: blood stream infections, pneumonias (e.g. ventilator-associated pneumonia), urinary tract infections and surgical site infections. According to World Health Organization, for every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, 7 in developed and 10 in developing countries are getting at least one HAI. Many countries lack strong surveillance system on HAIs and it remains a serious problem, which no institution or country can claim to have solved, despite huge efforts.

Key words: Healthcare-associated infections, Blood stream infections, Pneumonia

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