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Nosocomial infections


Nosocomial infections are infections contracted during a stay in a health facility (hospital, clinic...). A patient, by definition, does not have the nosocomial infection upon admission or during the first 48 hours of his hospital stay. These infections are due to the presence of germs or bacteria in the establishment, and are transmitted in different ways: weakened immune system, spread through skin contact or cross-contamination between patients or by staff, contamination of the hospital environment (water, air, equipment, food) ... In the case of surgery, an infection at the site of the operation within 30 days will be considered to be a nosocomial infection, within one year after the installation of foreign equipment such as a prosthetic heart valve or a pacemaker.


The most frequently acquired infections by patients are urinary tract infections, followed by pneumonia, sepsis, and surgical wound infections. The diagnostic will consist of identifying the source and type of infection. Clinical and laboratory examination of symptoms with appropriate additional tests will be performed if needed.


Just as there are different symptoms depending on the bacteria involved, the medical management of nosocomial infections also varies from one patient to another. These treatments are often antibiotic are sometimes long and expensive and therefore a doctor should target generally quite resistant germs. In case of nosocomial infection, a report to the Regional Health Agency and the hospital hygiene team must be made.


In the realm of health problems today, nosocomial infections are subject to important preventive measures in hospitals. Some of these infections can be prevented by simple measures. These are primarily the general hygiene of the establishment, which following a set of rules, must be applied to patients, staff and visitors. Other measures of prevention include hand hygiene, wearing masks, disinfection and sterilization of medical equipment, isolation in case of contagious germs...