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How to Prevent Nosocomial Infections

Nosocomial Infections

Nosocomial infections are those infections that a patient contacts while in the hospital, but the infection was not originally diagnosed of the patient.

Health workers, Care givers, patients and even those taking care of the sick ones are liable to be infected if proper aseptic measures are not taken.


The term nosocomial comes from two Greek words “nosus”= “disease” + “komeion”= “to take care of”. So, it is a disease or infection from being taken care of.

These noscomial infections are also called Hospital Acquired Infection or Hospital Associated Infections (HAI).

Studies have shown that Nosocomial infections are kill more than the originally diagnosed ailments of the patients. So the counter attack was begun to save lives and patient distress.


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The most common infections were :

  • Bloodstream infections ( BSI)
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Surgical site infections

Mechanical ventilation, catheter insertion, some invasive procedures and neonatal departments are more frequent sources of nosocomial infections.

World Health Organization’s Five “Moments” for Hand Hygiene.

  • Before touching a patient – to protect the patient from harmful germs carried on your hands.
  • Before aseptic procedures – to protect the patient against harmful germs, including the patient’s own germs.
  • After body fluid exposure/risk – to protect yourself and the health care environment from the harmful patient’s germs.
  • After touching the patient.

(There are two moments before and three moments after touching the patient)


  • Wash hands with soap and water when they are stained with blood or fluids.
  • An alcohol based hand rub should be used when the hands are not visibly dirty but have come in contact with a patient or before touching the patient.
  • All hand jewelries should be removed before engaging in surgical hand preparation.
  • Finger nails should be trimmed to 0.5cm or les with no nail polish or artificial nails.
  • Long sleeves should not be worn, ties and house coats should be discouraged, and wearing scrubs is encouraged.
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Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection. Health workers should mark out, obey and adhere to measures used to prevent infection. There should be zero tolerance for non-compliance with proven prevention measures.