Understanding Nosocomial Infections: Types, Causes, and Prevention

The hospital is a place where you seek healing; the irony is that you can also get sick from there.

Hospitals have become particularly notorious for spreading lethal infections that may cause people to get sick and, worse, die. Based on the most recent report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one among 25 patients get hospital-acquired infections in the country. In the UK, these infections affect 1 in 10 patients admitted.nosocomial

Nosocomial Infections

These are infections acquired in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. To be diagnosed with nosocomial infection, the patient must have been admitted for reasons other than the said infection. The incubation period of these can either be up to 48 hours after hospital admission, up to 3 days after discharge or up to 30 days after an operation.

Based on the World Health Organization studies, these infections most commonly occur in intensive care units and in acute surgical and orthopedic wards. Also, infection rates are higher among patients with an increased susceptibility due to old age, an underlying disease or chemotherapy.

Common Types

The most common types of nosocomial infections are:

• surgical wound infections
• respiratory infections
• genitourinary infections
• gastrointestinal infections

The Causes

Discount Disposables says the main causes of these infections are bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that have been transferred from one carrier to another due to breaches made by hospitals for infection control practices and procedures, unclean and non-sterile environmental surfaces, and/or employees who are carrying the infection. Most commonly, uses of unsterile products and hospital instruments trigger the transfer of bacteria from one person to another.


These kinds of infection could have been avoided by sterilization. In this process, the complete destruction and/or removal all microorganisms, including spore-forming and non-spore-forming bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa can be ensured.