1.2.2 Health Care Acquired/Associated Infections

Health care-associated infections (HAI), or infections acquired in health-care settings, are the single largest concern in health-care delivery throughout the world today. HAI’s are infections that are acquired in hospitals or other health-care facilities that are not present upon the person’s admission to that facility. The World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on HAI’s (n.d.) states that 7 out of 100 hospital patients in developed countries will be affected by HAI’s (p. 3).

Did You Know?

The World Health Organization (WHO) was constituted in 1948 to function as the coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system. The WHO’s principles include human rights, universality and equity, and their values are driven by a vision where all people attain the highest level of health. Most recently, they were at the forefront in many ways due to their coordination of issues involved in the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most prevalent infection in high income countries such as Canada is the urinary tract infection (WHO, n.d., p. 1). Other infections noted in large numbers were incisional and procedure related. The surveillance studies regarding factors leading to HAI’s have pointed not only to the ways they have occurred, but also to how health care facilities can limit the transmission.

Two of the most notable factors that put patients at risk for HAI’s are:

  1. Severe underlying patient conditions and immunity suppression
  2. Insufficient use of appropriate standard and isolation precautions

To learn more about how HAI’s affect people, watch this video from the World Health Organization:

Click here to download a video transcript in .docx format: Video Transcript

Now, watch this illustrated discussion about how HAI’s spread:

Click here to download a video transcript in .docx format: Video Transcript

Practice Makes Perfect

Based on the information in the videos, answer these questions regarding HAI’s:


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