A nosocomial infection is contracted because of an infection or toxin that exists in a certain location, such as a hospital. People now use nosocomial infections interchangeably with the terms health-care associated infections (HAIs) and hospital-acquired infections. For a HAI, the infection must not be present before someone has been under medical care.
One of the most common wards where HAIs occur is the intensive care unit (ICU), where doctors treat serious diseases. About 1 in 10 of the people admitted to a hospital will contract a HAI. They’re also associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and hospital costs.
As medical care becomes more complex and antibiotic resistance increases, the cases of HAIs will grow. The good news is that HAIs can be prevented in a lot of healthcare situations. Read on to learn more about HAIs and what they may mean for you.
For a HAI, the infection must occur: