Hospital Acquired Infections also known as Nosocomial Infections are the infections that linger within the hospital environment.- Equipment, furniture, Lavatories, beds, other Hospital visitors and inmates etc. These Infection causing bugs can appear anywhere , are invisible, easily transferable and stay on surface for upto three days.

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They are called super bugs because it is often super difficult to kill them. Hospitals are held accountable for keeping there spaces are hygienic and HAI free. Some of the common super bugs are :
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP)
  • Necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating bacterial disease
  • NDM Strain 1
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Clostridium difficile (C.Diff)
  • Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)

These Superbugs are actually natural

Some of the superbugs mentioned above are actually naturally found in our homes and indeed almost everywhere; infact 30% of people are colonized by atleast one of these superbugs without causing health problems, yes - they don't make healthy people sick. Most of these superbugs found in the environment are not antibiotic resistant, but alarmingly, it is universally accepted that hospitals tend to harbor antibiotic resistant strains of these superbugs; some more than others.

Bacteria like Staph aureus and C. Diff are present in abundance in our environment, but some of the antibiotic resistant strains acquired in certain hospitals can be dangerous. These strains usually start colonizing out of control when the patient starts a certain course of antibiotics and can make the patient a lot sicker.

According to CDC 4% of Americans contract HAI every day. These superbugs can be transmitted via simple touch which is why all visitors to hospitals must take a shower and maybe also wet-sponge with diluted isopropyl acohol alcohol to best protect themselves.

The Impact

Hospital acquired super bug infections cause various diseases such as Urinary Tract Infections, Pneumonia, Skin Infections, High Fever, Low Blood pressure, Spesis. These infections can even cause death. In the US, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates roughly 1.7 Millions Hospital associated infections each year that result in 99000 deaths annually.

Europe accounts for roughly 23000 deaths every year. The OECD projects that by 2050; 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia could die of the Super Bug Infections caused in Hospitals and communities if no preventive measures are taken.

How to prevent HAI

  • Hand wash regularly
  • Conservative and cautious prescription of antibiotics
  • Basic regular space sanitation
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Choose hospitals with a low incidence of HAI (look at our Hospital metrics for each hospital)