By Ryan MacArthur |

Recent studies have shed more light on the risk that comes with hospitalization. In fact, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) affect up to 10% of patients in the United States each year.

According to the CDC, hospital-acquired infections cost the United States $20 billion annually and, more importantly, result in roughly 99,000 deaths—that’s more than car accidents, diabetes, and the flu/pneumonia combined.

Infections from IVs represent a significant portion of HAIs, making them a significant problem facing hospitalized patients. An IV-related infection typically occurs when bacteria enters the line and makes its way into the patient’s bloodstream.

An in-depth study by Dr. Leonard Mermel, Medical Director of the Epidemiology and Infection Control Department at Rhode Island Hospital, found that almost two out of every one thousand patients receiving IV treatment experiences an infection.

While that number may sound low, healthcare providers place upwards of 200 million IVs each year – that’s close to 400,000 potential victims of IV-related HAIs annually.

Patients receiving IV therapy should always keep an eye out for any redness or discharge around and at the IV site. These symptoms are also usually accompanied by an elevated body temperature.

To prevent IV-related hospital-acquired infections, doctors and nurses should always practice strict hand hygiene, wear gloves, and use proper technique during IV insertion. It’s also vital to clean the IV site and change the dressing as needed.

If you begin to experience any symptoms of infection, don’t hesitate to alert your medical team. Communication and early interventions are some of the best practices to minimize the effects of an IV-related HAI.

 

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References:

Image Source – https://www.healthline.com/health/hospital-acquired-nosocomial-infections

Intravenous Line Infections –  https://www.criticalcare.theclinics.com/article/S0749-0704(05)70399-7/abstract

Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections: CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/washington/~cdcatWork/pdf/infections.pdf 

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