Experts call for action against hospital-acquired infections, say those infected risk amputation, death

Health experts have called for more proactive actions against hospital-acquired infections, noting that patients and healthcare workers must start adopting precautionary measures to avoid these preventable healthcare facility-related health problems.

Hospital-acquired infections, they said, should be taken seriously as they could lead to life-threatening situations and even result in death if not promptly diagnosed and properly managed.

Nosocomial infections are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, or by a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse.

These infections, experts said, are a subset of infectious diseases acquired in healthcare settings and are also called healthcare-associated infections.

According to experts, an infection is considered a nosocomial infection when it develops at least 48 hours after admission.

Speaking to PUNCH HealthWise in an interview, a public health physician Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor explained that when infection prevention and control methods are not followed properly in healthcare facilities, patients can become infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of bacteria and may even die from it. Phone.

He said: “Hospitals are breeding grounds for infections. Therefore, when procedures are not performed using excellent infection prevention and control methods, the risk of nosocomial infection in patients increases.

“An immunocompromised patient can acquire a multi-resistant bacterial strain. This is an emergency and if not treated quickly, it can lead to amputation of body parts or even death.

The age groups most susceptible to nosocomial infections, Nsofor said, are the young, the elderly and people with already compromised immunity, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, cancers and others.

Nsofor, who is a senior New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute, urged Nigerian hospital health workers and patients to adopt precautionary measures to prevent hospital-acquired infections.

He said: “Hospitals should be the cleanest places in our communities. It starts with having excellent infection prevention and control protocols that all healthcare workers understand and implement.

“Patients and their loved ones should also follow all infection prevention and control protocols put in place by hospitals.”

He lamented the lack of potable water in Nigerian hospitals, noting that this is a major challenge to good hygiene practices in healthcare facilities.

Nsofor said, “Very few hospitals in Nigeria have clean running water in their premises, how can nosocomial infections be prevented if there is no safe drinking water.”

The public health expert urged federal, state and local governments to develop standard user manuals for hospitals under their jurisdiction.

Martin E. Berry