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Nosocomial infection

A nosocomial infection is a type acquired in a healthcare facility. It is also called as a hospital-acquired infection.

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The infection is likely to occur in an intensive care unit (ICU) where doctors manage serious conditions.

What are the signs?

For an infection to be categorized as a nosocomial type, it must occur:

  • Up to 48 hours after admission to a healthcare facility
  • Up to 3 days after discharge
  • Up to 30 days after a surgical procedure
  • Being admitted in a healthcare facility for other causes

    nosocomial infection
    The treatment for a nosocomial infection is based on the type.

The common forms of infections that might develop include:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Surgical site infections
  • Meningitis

The usual signs of these infections might include:

  • Fever
  • Drainage from a wound
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Burning sensation while urinating or difficulty
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Those who develop new symptoms while hospitalized might also experience pain and irritation at the site of infection.

Management of a nosocomial infection

The treatment for a nosocomial infection is based on the type. Antibiotics might be recommended by the doctor along with bed rest. Any foreign devices such as catheters are removed as soon as possible.

It is also vital to encourage healing as well as prevent dehydration which can be achieved with a healthy diet, adequate rest and proper intake of fluids.

Early detection and prompt treatment is vital for a nosocomial infection. Most can fully recover with proper treatment.

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