What types of infections are there?
Hospital-acquired infections fall into different categories, and occur under varying circumstances. The four most common categories are:
- Bloodstream Infection (BSI)
- Pneumonia (which can cause other types of injuries in frail patients)
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Surgical Site Infection (SSI)
One of the most common causes of an infection is dirty hands or instruments. Other infections are linked to the misuse of catheters, especially in the very young and the elderly. Urinary tract infections are relatively commonplace, but one developed at any point in time during treatment can spread to the kidneys and possibly cause permanent injury. Infections can also be caused by unhygienic water sources. Improper care of patients can result in the development of a new infection or the worsening of a current, less noticeable infection.
One of the deadliest bloodstream infections is called sepsis or septic shock, which has several different origin points. Immuno-compromised people are especially at risk. Some side effects include kidney failure, gangrene (which may require amputation), and memory loss. Sepsis can be treated with antibiotics, but treatment depends on the severity of the infection, and at what time it is caught. Septic shock can be caused by:
- Bedsores - frequently developed when patients are left unattended and ignored for long periods of time.
- IV's - these come in direct contact with the bloodstream, and sepsis is a risk at a non-sanitized or contaminated IV site.
- Surgery wounds - Post-surgery recovery usually involves rounds of antibiotic treatment, partially to avoid and prevent sepsis. Without proper administration of medication, sepsis can develop.
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