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What Types of Hospital Infections Could You Catch?

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Posted on October 25th, 2016 by Teri Dreher, under Infections

Most people think they are going to a hospital to get well. Unfortunately, if you are like 80-year-old Mary Brown, you will discover that while you were there, you caught a urinary track infection. You can get an infection from devices, equipment and caregivers. Despite efforts to avoid them, here are some of the most common infections you should be aware of that could happen to you.

Surgical Site Infections

Surgical sites are particularly susceptible to infection. When you skin is open, it opens the door for germs to enter and that can cause infection. The infection can manifest itself on the skin or deeper in the body.

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Central lines are inserted into patients who need fluids and intravenous medicines on a frequent basis. Most often central lines are used in the ICU. The problem occurs when these lines are not cleaned properly. This allows germs to enter your blood system via the same tubes. These infections can be deadly.

Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections

Depending upon the procedure, patients are often equipped with a catheter to remove urine while they recover. The problem is these catheters are likely places to harbor germs that can result in infections. Most of these infections are not serious, but they can lead to serious problems if they are not treated and enter the bloodstream.

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

This infection occurs when germs get into the tubing that is helping the patient breathe. This can be quite serious, as patients who need assistance to breathe are often very ill and susceptible to infection in their weaken state.


This particular infection can cause diarrhea, vomiting and the long-lasting feeling of an upset stomach. The symptoms are quite unpleasant, and can last for several days. The norovirus can’t be treated with antibiotic drugs. Patients must stay hydrated.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aurcus (MRSA)

MRSA is an infection that is often mentioned in the news (it’s sometimes called a staph infection). This skin infection can be particularly dangerous because it is resistant to antibiotics. It is spread by contact and extremely difficult to clear.

These are not the only infections you could acquire in the hospital. Therefore it is wise to always wash your hands and watch to make sure the medical staff is doing likewise.

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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