Caution! healthcare associated
Healthcare associated infection
(HAI; syn. hospital acquired, nosocomial infection) is an infection affecting a
person during hospitalization or while seeking medical help for another problem.
This means that before admitting to hospital, the disease was not present.
Hospital Acquired Infections have become a problem of great concern nowadays as a
HAIs are spreading because traditional disinfection practices are proving to be
- Development of large hospital centers with a peculiar environment: high
population density with plenty of weakened people (patients) and healthcare
stuff in permanent and close contact with each other.
- Widespread and at times uncontrolled use of antibiotics. The strategy and
plan of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents treatment is not always well
thought out and leads to formation of drug-resistant microorganisms.
- Formation of a variety of hospital strains with multiple drug resistance
that possess selective advantages like high stability against environmental
adverse factors (ultraviolet irradiation, dehumidification, disinfectants).
- Weakened body defenses of human population in general. This
occurs because people are not prepared for the rapidly changing living
conditions — environment pollution, ecological crisis, hypodynamia, stress, and
adverse effects of noise, vibration, magnetic fields. Delicate defense
mechanisms that have been shaped for thousands of years, proved imperfect amidst
the rapidly changing life conditions during the last 40 years.
- Numerous clinicians still regard hospital acquired infections (pneumonia,
pyelonephritis, inflammatory skin and hypoderm disorders and others) as
non-infectious pathology and neglect necessary preventive and epidemiology
. Here are only some of the facts illustrating the severity of the
- The official US statistics count over 2 million cases of nosocomial infections,
over 100 thousand of them with lethal outcome. The financial loss by various
estimates exceeds 30 billion US dollars.
- Germany records from 600 to 800 cases of healthcare associated infections
yearly, 40 thousand of them with lethal outcome.
- The experts put the losses related to hospital acquired infections at over 2
billion Euro a year.
- The research in the US shows that over 28% of bacteria and microorganisms being
the source of nosocomial infections are resistant against all present day
- Multi-drug resistant pathogens and multi-drug resistant organisms are capable of
surviving up to 2 months in hospital environment.
Healthcare associated infections mean increased time of hospital stay,
mortality growth, financial loss, social and psychological damage.
However, you can fight them – with the help of