Infection control - Faculty of Physical Therapy

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Infection control Infection control : is the discipline concerned with preventing nosocomial or healthcare-associated infection. Infection control addresses factors related to the spread of infections within the health-care setting (whether patient-to-patient, from patients to staff and from staff to patients, or among-staff), including prevention (via hand hygiene/hand washing, cleaning/disinfection/sterilization, vaccination, surveillance), monitoring/investigation of demonstrated or suspected spread of infection within a particular health-care setting (surveillance and outbreak investigation), and management (interruption of outbreaks). Infection control in healthcare facilities : Aseptic technique is a key component of all invasive medical procedures. Similarly, infection control measures are most effective when applied universally because undiagnosed infection is common. Hand hygiene : The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that “It is well-documented that the most important measure for preventing the spread of pathogens is effective hand washing.” Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization : Sterilization : is a process intended to kill all microorganisms and is the highest level of microbial kill that is possible. Sterilizers may be heat only, steam, or liquid chemical. Disinfection : refers to the use of liquid chemicals on surfaces and at room temperature to kill disease causing microorganisms. Infections can be prevented from occurring in homes as well. In order to reduce their chances to contract an infection, individuals are recommended to maintain a good hygiene by washing their hands after every contact with questionable areas or bodily fluids and by disposing the garbage at regular intervals to prevent germs from growing. Personal protective equipment : Disposable PPE : Personal protective equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment worn by a worker for protection against a hazard. The hazard in a health care setting is exposure to blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids or aerosols that may carry infectious materials such as Hepatitis C, HIV, or other blood borne or bodily fluid pathogen. PPE prevents contact with a potentially infectious material by creating a physical barrier between the potential infectious material and the healthcare worker. Components of Personal protective equipment (PPE) include gloves, gowns, bonnets, shoe covers, face shields, CPR masks, goggles, surgical masks, and respirators. How many components are used and how the components are used is often determined by regulations or the infection control protocol of the facility in question. Vaccination of health care workers : Health care workers may be exposed to certain infections in the course of their work. Vaccines are available to provide some protection to workers in a healthcare setting. Depending on regulation, recommendation, the specific work function, or personal preference, healthcare workers or first responders may receive vaccinations for hepatitis B; influenza; measles, mumps and rubella; Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis; N. meningitides; and varicella. Post exposure prophylaxis : In some cases where vaccines do not exist Post Exposure prophylaxis is another method of protecting the health care worker exposed to a life threatening infectious disease. Surveillance for emerging infections : Surveillance is the act of infection investigation using the CDC definitions. Determining an infection requires an Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) to review a patient's chart and see if the patient had the signs and symptom of an infection. Surveillance definition cover infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract, pneumonia, and surgical sites. Isolation : In the health care context, isolation refers to various physical measures taken to interrupt nosocomial spread of contagious diseases. Outbreak investigation : When an unusual cluster of illness is noted, infection control teams undertake an investigation to determine whether there is a true outbreak, a pseudo-outbreak (a result of contamination within the diagnostic testing process), or just random fluctuation in the frequency of illness. Training in infection control and health care epidemiology : Practitioners can come from several different educational streams. Many begin as nurses, some as medical technologists (particularly in clinical microbiology), and some as physicians (typically infectious disease specialists). Specialized training in infection control and health care epidemiology are offered by the professional organizations described below. Physicians who desire to become infection control practitioners often are trained in the context of an infectious disease fellowship.