In recent months, during the last quarter of 2020 and the start of 2021, we’ve witnessed a spike in healthcare acquired infections. These infections are extremely hard to combat and treat, and often lead to complicated and complex hospitalizations.
The CDC has stated an increase of 28.9% of HAI related rehospitalizations in the final few months of 2020.
In American hospitals alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that HAIs account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 190,000 associated deaths during the past year. Of these infections:
- 32 percent of all healthcare-acquired infection are urinary tract infections
- 22 percent are surgical site infections
- 15 percent are pneumonia (lung infections)
- 14 percent are bloodstream infections
- 9 percent are brain and nervous system infections
The most deadly are the brain and nervous system infections that are attributed to ~90,000 HAI related deaths.
How are these Healthcare-Associated Infections happening?
All hospitalized patients are susceptible to contracting a nosocomial infection. Some patients are at greater risk than others-young children, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are more likely to get an infection.
Every hospitalized patient sheds particles into the air, the room, the mattress, pillow and all surfaces around them. A recent sampling study successfully colonized more than 10,000 viral, fungal and bacterial isotopes from a 3 month old mattress in an Emergency room in San Antonio, Texas.
There are 3 common ways that hospitalized patients can get infected within the healthcare facility.
One of the methods, and the most common of these 3 is the in room transmission. There are 2 subcategories in this infection method, one being direct, by acquiring an infection from another patient that emits particulates in the air or throughout the room itself. Being hospitalized for an extended period of time, for more than 5 continuous days, puts patients at high risks of getting HAI. The direct infection method can also happen from interacting with penetrative, invasive and attachable medical assistive devices. For example a contaminated urinary catheter or a breathing tube, goes inside the patient body thus delivering an infective dose.
The second and also common transmission is the indirect in room method. That means that the patient can get infected by contacting surfaces that hasn’t been properly sterilized and sanitized. These types of infections can occur through something as simple as breathing in a viral infective dose from the hospital bed mattress or by spending extended time with other hospitalized patients in a multi patient room. Contaminated Surfaces in a multi patient room can contribute to the transmission of HAIs.
The other common transmission type is through the healthcare workers. Contaminated environmental surfaces can contribute to transmission of pathogens by serving as a source from which the healthcare workers contaminate their hands or gloves and infect other patients. It doesn’t really matter if there are gowning protocols in place, because healthcare workers tend to break protocols to provide emergency assistance to patients in emergent need.
The third and least common source of transmission comes from the use of contaminated medical equipment that comes into direct contact with the patient can serve as a source of transmission.
Why Healthcare-Associated Infections increased recently?
The increased number of Covid related hospitalizations, the increased pressure on the healthcare system and increased patient turnover has a significant impact on the number of Healthcare acquired infections.
Due to the post Covid Syndrome related hospitalizations, mostly due to cardiovascular or neurological conditions that require extended stays at a hospital bed, pose risk for getting infected with some multi drug resistant super bacteria.
We’ve all seen the study for that 67 year old men in Colorado that spent 300 of the last 365 days in hospitals, mostly being treated for HAIs he got during his first hospitalization. He was hospitalized as a Covid patient, acquired streptococus auris from the ventilator machine. While being treated from that bacterial infection, he started developing symptoms of the Gullien Barre syndrome, a neurological condition that causes temporary partial or complete paralysis, commonly seen as a post Covid neurological syndrome. Due to his paralysis, he was connected to an external urinary catheter and got infected with several multi drug resistant bacteria that could cause septic shock. As he was treated for these bacteria, the patient got reinfected with Covid19, extending his stay at the hospital bed for a couple of weeks. The patient was finally discharged after spending 301 days inside the Boulder health center, 265 of which were due to HAIs.
Patients who acquire infections from surgery spend, on average, an additional 6.5 days in the hospital, are five times more likely to be readmitted after discharge and twice as likely to die. Moreover, surgical patients who develop infections are 60 percent more likely to require admission to a hospital’s intensive care unit. Surgical infections are believed to account for up to ten billion dollars annually in healthcare expenditures.
Now, there is an affordable yet efficient solution for finally overcoming this recurring pandemic called Healthcare acquired infections. It relies on the use of Hydrogen Peroxide vapor for sanitizing and disinfecting the most common culprits that are the known sources for HAIs. Hydrogen Peroxide significantly reduces bacterial contamination inpatient rooms. It is proven to be more effective than UV-C for the eradication of bacteria, including spores, viruses and radiation-resistant viruses like MRSA and a long list of fungi and mold. Another advantage of the Hydrogen vapor over UV-C, is that it’s more penetrative and can reach and sanitize even shadowed areas from the device source.
One such Hydrogen Peroxide vaporizer is the “ViTralizer”, recently popular for its proven track record of eliminating the Coronavirus from all types of surfaces in any type of setting. Our goal is to improve all hospital infection control practices, including cleaning and disinfection, as well as behavioral and environmental practices, to the point where preventing the spread of these multiple-drug-resistant organisms also minimizes the chances of patients becoming infected and improves their chances of recovery.
The ViTralizer has been designed to ensure maximum safety, suitable for its commercial or household applications. The unit is equipped with user-friendly components making its operation really simple. Simply fill the reservoir (about 1 qt), set the room size, push start and leave the room. The “ViTralizer” is capable of sanitizing over 17,000 cubic feet (2,125 Square Feet @ 8 ft ceilings) in one run.
In less than an hour, people can safely return to the now sanitized area. If you need more space covered, just move the machine to a different location and run it again.
It’s that easy.
To request before and after Micro laboratory testing results, please call 800-418-9289.
1 thought on “Why are Healthcare-Associated Infections common”
Great write-up Marko.