It pops up in the news regularly: a hospital bacterium like MRSA that plagues patients. Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) are infections acquired by a patient during a stay in an healthcare facility. HAI’s cause significant morbidity and mortality. About 5% of patients admitted to a healthcare facility acquire them. Cross infections from patient to patient or from healthcare personnel to patient are a constant threat.
In addition to the patients themselves, the health personnel, air and water (legionella), the environment too is an important source of infections. Pathogens related to the environment like Clostridium difficile, MRSA, VRE and others can survive on surfaces during several days up to more than a month being a continuous threat for the patients.
In case of an outbreak, it means that the source of infection must be shut down from the rest of the hospital and the intensity of the cleaning and disinfection program must be scaled up.
Another factor that makes prevention even more important for the healthcare sector, is resistance to different generations of antibiotics. Patients are counting on the hospital to deliver them a clean and safe environment. Therefore breaking the triangle of cross-contamination (contaminated surface – hands of the healthcare workers – susceptible patients) by cleaning and disinfection is very important.