Yvonne Carter believes that temporary isolation solutions could provide the answer to address COVID-19 transmission in hospitals, as well as to contain other healthcare-associated infections, in the future.
Healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) is new infection that is contracted by a patient while they receive medical or surgical treatment or from being in contact with a healthcare facility., Common HCAIs include Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Influenza (flu). While HCAIs have become more apparent during the current COVID-19 pandemic, they have been a pre-existing challenge for the NHS
Annually, there are more than 300,000 cases of HCAIs in UK hospitals, frequently occurring in vulnerable patients with around 40% of HCAIs cases in intensive care units., HCAIs can affect quality of life and cause significant morbidity and mortality in those affected – especially in critically ill patients, accounting for 10,000 deaths each year in the UK.
They also expose acute healthcare workers to an increased risk of infections. It is estimated in 2017 there were 13,900 cases reported among healthcare workers, resulting in 62,500 days of absenteeism.4,5, HCAIs are estimated to cost the NHS £2.1billion annually. These costs can be attributed to long hospitals stays due to the morbidity HCAIs cause and replacing absent staff.4 For these reasons infection prevention and control is a key NHS priority.2
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