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Contamination in Nursing Homes

Infectious diseases are especially common in congregate care settings, like nursing homes.  Residents’ weaker immune systems, poor hygiene, and crowding can all contribute to increase infection rates.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2011, about 721,800 people got healthcare-associated infections (infections they acquired while getting medical treatment in a facility, like a hospital or nursing home).  Of these, about 75,000 died during their stay in the facility.

Thanks to infection control techniques, some healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have become much less common.  In fact, the CDC says that with proper infection control techniques, healthcare facilities can decrease rates of some HAIs by over 70%.

According to the CDC, the most common HAIs are:

  1. Pneumonia (about 22% of all HAIs)
  2. Infections at surgical sites (about 22%)
  3. Gastrointestinal illnesses (about 17%)
  4. Urinary tract infections (13%)
  5. Infections of the bloodstream (10%)

Drug-resistant infections are a growing problem in healthcare facilities.  Some of the most common are:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause recurring skin infections
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), which can cause infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream, or wounds
  • Clostridium difficile( diff), which causes severe gastrointestinal illness

Normal antibiotics do not kill these infections.  This makes them especially dangerous, and easily spread.  It also makes proper hygiene and sanitation crucial, as these are the best ways to prevent infections. If you need support or have any questions, please contact us for immediate assistance.

References

“Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance: Biggest Threats.”  April 14, 2017.  United States Centers for Disease Control.United States Department of Health and Human Services.  Available at https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/biggest_threats.html

“Healthcare-Associated Infections: HAI Data and Statistics.”  October 25, 2016.  United States Centers for Disease Control.United States Department of Health and Human Services.  Available at https://www.cdc.gov/hai/surveillance/index.html

“Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections.”  November 16, 2015.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.United States Department of Health and Human Services.  Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hai/prevent/prevention.html

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