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Nosocomial infections 

Nosocomial infections
Chapter:
Nosocomial infections
Author(s):

Ian C.J.W. Bowler

, and Matthew Scarborough

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0071
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date: 07 March 2021

Hospital-acquired or nosocomial infections—defined for epidemiological purposes as infections manifesting more than 48 hours after hospital admission—are common. They affect 1.4 million people worldwide, involve between 5 and 25% of hospitalized patients at any one time and are associated with considerable morbidity, mortality, and cost. The most common sites of nosocomial infection are the urinary tract, surgical wounds, and the lower respiratory tract. Most are bacterial in origin, the most common species being Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus (including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. The principal risk factors are extremes of age, the severity of underlying acute disease (e.g. neutropenia, organ system failure), and chronic medical conditions (especially diabetes, renal failure, and alcohol abuse).

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