Running head: HOSPITAL ACQUIRED INFECTIONS, EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
Hospital Acquired Infections
Grand Canyon University
Family-Centered Health Promotion
August 25, 2012
Emergency department (ED) nurses save lives every day by utilizing their skills and knowledge to assist the physician in providing emergent care to patients who arrive via ambulance or by private auto. Nurses are aware of their responsibilities to respond to the patient's needs quickly and efficiently to provide life-saving interventions and care. However, are ED nurses aware that they contribute directly and indirectly to a large percentage of patient's demise ...view middle of the document...
ED nurses should think twice before performing tasks that could have detrimental results to the patient as well as extended hospital stay and intensive care utilization due to sepsis from an indwelling foley catheter, an intravenous (IV) site, or central line infection. According to Mary Pelton, RN, CEN, the nurse must insist on sterile technique. At Tufts Medical Center in Boston, ED nurses utilize a checklist for the prevention of Central Line-Associated Bacteremia (CLAB) during a central line insertion (Pelton RN, CEN & Mitchell RN, CEN).
There are many changes that can be made in the ED nurse's practice that can make a huge difference in the outcome of their patient's hospital stay. For example, collect a urine specimen on an incontinent patient by the use of a straight catheter. Do not insert an indwelling foley for the sake of convenience. Have the most skilled nurse attempt a peripheral intravenous line before calling for a central line on your patient. Have a centrally located cart with all of the equipment used and all sterile barrier type of supplies for the insertion of central lines, this is a Joint Commission guideline (Pelton RN, CEN & Mitchell RN, CEN, 2010).
Eric Larsen, MSN, ARNP, FNP, has a different idea regarding the prevalence of hospital acquired infections possibly originating in the emergency department (ED), he argues that there are over 100 million people that come through the ED in the United States yearly as patients, visitors, vendors, as well as paramedics, police officers and firefighters. He finds that most all the studies that have been done on hand washing have focused on the hospital staff without regard for anyone else. He feels that we need to enforce the hand washing policy of the hospital to extend to the general public that comes in and out of the ED (Larsen MSN, ARNP, FNP, 2009).
Hospital acquired infections (HAI) will begin to display signs and symptoms within 48 hours. In order to treat the infections, physicians need to diagnostic tools quickly. The manufacturer of new diagnostic test makers, Kalorama Information stated last year that the world demand for testing and treatment of HAI will be over 10 billion dollars by the year 2015, increasing from 9 billion dollars in 2010. Kalorama also stated that HAI has a 5% infection rate of 40 million hospital visits a year, causing 100,000 deaths in the U.S. annually (Kalorama Information, July 14, 2011). Early diagnosis will improve the patient's outcome and decrease the chance of death. According to Kalorama, 20-30% of the HAI can be prevented by the simple use of better hand washing and cross contamination avoidance although the others need more intensive changes such as hospital ventilation systems and using more disposable supplies (Kalorama Information, p. 113) .
Jeanine Thomas of Hinesdale, IL has...