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Health care  –  Interventions

Infection specific interventions

Health care-associated infections are infections that patients acquire during the time of treatment for other conditions within a health care facility. Here you find infection-specific interventions to help prevent and reduce occurrence of such infections.

Four common health care-associated infections are:

  • Surgical site infection (SSI)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
  • Central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI)

Additional important infections include gastrointestinal infections and blood-borne infections. Health care-associated infections are often caused by resistant bacteria, are hard to treat, and lead to prolonged hospital stay and high mortality. It is very important to prevent these infections to save lives, reduce antibiotic use and thus limit the antibiotic pressure leading to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Below are selected resources describing how to prevent these infections (separated into different tables). In addition, many countries have their own guidelines that are adapted to the local circumstances. For additional information and resources to help determine the impact of interventions, go to MEASURE.

See also: Basic interventions and Pathogen specific interventions

Selected Resources

Surgical site infections (SSI)

Resource Description
IFIC Basic Concepts of Infection Control Chapter 15 Prevention of Surgical Site Infections. The intent of the manual is to provide a scientific foundation for basic infection control principles mainly to countries with limited resources. The 2016 Edition available in English. The 2011 Edition is available in Spanish, Italian, French, Hungarian, Arabic and Bulgarian.
Global guidelines on the prevention of surgical site infection First global guidelines on the prevention of surgical site infections published by WHO. These new guidelines are valid for any country and suitable to local adaptations, and take account of the strength of available scientific evidence, the cost and resource implications, and patient values and preferences.
Surgical Site Infection CDC’s toolkit for the prevention of surgical site infection.
Guideline for Prevention of Surgical Site Infection (2017) Evidence-based guidelines for prevention of surgical site infections from CDC.

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)

Resource Description
IFIC Basic Concepts of Infection Control Chapter 16 Prevention of Lower Respiratory Tract Infections.  The intent of the manual is to provide a scientific foundation for basic infection control principles mainly to countries with limited resources. Available in English, Arabic, English, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, and Bulgarian. The previous editions have been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, French, Greek, Lithuanian, Persian, Thai and Turkish languages.
Guidance on healthcare-associated and ventilator-associated pneumonia Collection of guidelines on healthcare-associated and ventilator-associated pneumonia compiled by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI)

Resource Description
IFIC Basic Concepts of Infection Control Chapter 17 Prevention of Intravascular Device Associated Infections. The intent of the manual is to provide a scientific foundation for basic infection control principles mainly to countries with limited resources. Available in English, Arabic, English, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, and Bulgarian. The previous editions have been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, French, Greek, Lithuanian, Persian, Thai and Turkish languages.
CLABSI – Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infections CDC’s toolkit for the prevention of central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI).

Catheter-assoicated urinary tract infection (CAUTI)

Resource Description
IFIC Basic Concepts of Infection Control Chapter 18 Prevention of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections.  The intent of the manual is to provide a scientific foundation for basic infection control principles mainly to countries with limited resources. Available in English, Arabic, English, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, and Bulgarian. The previous editions have been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, French, Greek, Lithuanian, Persian, Thai and Turkish languages.
CAUTI – Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection CDC’s toolkit for the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI).

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