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Health sciences, medicine and infection control

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Health Sciences and Medicine
The term infection control can be defined as the various procedures and polices put in place to reduce the risks of infections from spreading from one patient to another, especially in hospitals and other health care facilities (Barry et al, 2006). The main reason for having infection control policies is to minimize or control the occurrence of diseases that are infectious. Most of these infectious diseases are easily spread by viruses or bacteria, which can be spread from one individual to the other through human-human contact, or when humans get in to contact with infected equipment and surfaces. Some of the diseases are highly contagious and can be spread by means of airborne transmission through very small droplets of infectious agents found in the air, food, or water.
Infections that are contacted in hospitals or other health care facilities are known as nosocomial infections, and they lead to approximately 5 % of the patients in the hospitals (Mehrotra and Sumbali, 2009). These nosocomial infections are very common in some hospitals which do not have a strong immune system. This makes most of the patients in these facilities to be very susceptible to more infections. As a result, patients who visit hospitals end up spending more time in bed and may in some cases end up dying due to the infections they acquire while in the hospitals.
The other reason why infectious diseases spread very fast in hospitals is the fact that some of the medical procedures performed to patients may predispose them to these infections (Barry et al, 2006). Some of the equipment used in these medical procedures as well as some of the drugs used may introduce infectious agents in to the body of the patient.
The infectious diseases can also be transmitted from one patient to another by the hospital workers and doctors or any other hospital visitors (Barry et al, 2006). By handling one patient who may be infected, the hospital workers can act as agents and transmit the same diseases to other patients in the hospital when they do not take necessary precautions.
Therefore, there is the need to put in place infection control policies so as to help prevent the spread of nosocomial diseases (Hogg, 2013). This will also go a long way in making hospitals a better and safer place for patients as well as visitors. There is the need to have in place proper guidelines for infection control procedures in hospitals. Apart from hospitals infection control should also be practiced in clinics, nursing homes, restaurants and child care centers, as well as in people’s homes.
The methods of cleansing and sterilization are becoming more popular in medical practice as opposed to the use of disposable instruments. Sterilization and cleansing should indeed be favored over the use of disposable instruments for various reasons. Medical studies have shown that sterilization ensures medical equipment are safe for reuse to other patients as they would not be containing any infections (Hellinger et al, 2007).
In conclusion, most of the medical equipment, especially those used in surgical procedures are very expensive. Therefore, it is not economical to dispose such items after using them. Sterilization ensures that the few resources available in hospitals are well maintained and kept safe for reuse to other patients.
Bibliography
Barry P, Seal DV, Gettinby G, et al. ESCRS study of prophylaxis of postoperative
endophthalmitis after cataract surgery: Preliminary report of principal results from a European multicenter study. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2006; 32(3): 407-410.
Hellinger WC, Bacalis LP, Edelhouser HF, et al. Recommended practices for cleaning and
sterilizing intraocular surgical instruments. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2007; 33(6): 1095-1100.
Hogg, S. Essential Microbiology, Wiley, New Jersey, 2013.
Mehrotra and Sumbali. Principles Of Microbiology: M&S, Tata McGraw-Hill Education, New
Delhi, 2009.
Pooler, M. S., Tamparo, C. D. & Dahl, B. M. Delmar’s Clinical Medical Assisting. Cengage
Learning, Mason, OH, 2009.
Weston, D. Infection Prevention and Control: Theory and Practice for Healthcare Professionals.
John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2008.

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