Hospital Acquired Infections claim lives in Valley hospitals
POOR STATE OF HEALTHCARE
Srinagar, Sep 16: Patients admitted in the Valley hospitals are facing a serious threat from the Hospital Acquired Cross Infections which has allegedly claimed hundreds of lives so far.
Health experts believe that the poor infection control in major hospitals across the Valley leads to longer hospital stays, serious complications and even death in some cases. “The deadly microbes, including the antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause serious sepsis and pneumonia, that make the situation worse for the already ailing patients,” one of the senior medicos told Greater Kashmir.
The doctor said the infections that are acquired during the course of a hospital stay cost the patients’ families a staggering amount in terms of lives lost and health care costs.
It has been observed that the Infection Control Committees are non-existent in all the Valley hospitals. “In health care institutions even a simple soap and wash rooms are not available in high risk areas like dressing rooms, causality, ICUs and labor rooms,” sources said. “The basic sanitation also needs to be addressed.”
“Hospitals and other health care providers must act now to protect patients from this growing menace,” they warned. “It will help reduce the mortality rate.”
While a quoting a glaring example of discharge records of Government Medical College and its associated hospitals, a senior medico in Health and Medical Education Department identified two conditions caused by hospital associated infections: sepsis, a potentially lethal systemic response to infection and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs and respiratory tract.
“Among thousand discharge certificates that we have analyzed over the years, nearly 40 per cent show either sepsis or pneumonia as an immediate cause of death. And despite such a serious problem authorities have failed to put the strict infection control measures in place,” said medico at GMC, Srinagar. They said that most such cases developed infections after hospitalization.
“After studying this serious problem in the GMC and its allied hospital we have concluded that most of the infections are often preventable, like a serious bloodstream infection that occurs because of a lapse in sterile technique during surgery and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which occur due to improper sanitation,” a medico at SMHS hospital said wishing anonymity.
He said most of the time the medicines to prevent the sepsis remain unavailable in hospitals and even in the open market due to the ‘official callousness”. “It also cost an extra burden to the families for the treatment.”
Even worse, the team found that nearly 20 percent of people who developed sepsis after surgery died as a result of the infection.
“In some cases, relatively healthy people check into the hospital for routine surgery. They develop sepsis because of a lapse in infection control-and they can die. That is a real tragedy of such cases,” said a senior official at SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura.
About pneumonia, the medicos said, the dirty ventilators play a major role. “The pneumonia is also thought to be preventable but HAI increases both the hospital and extra cost per person to treat. And in 11 percent of the cases, the patient died as a result of the pneumonia infection,” they said.
According to public Health experts, various measures should be put in place to prevent mortality in hospital. “As per rules it is necessary frame Infection Control Committees that will later form Infection Control Teams and appointing special employees in order to monitor the preventive measures for infection control,” they said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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