Summary of infection

An infection occurs when a germ, (bacterium or virus), enters into the body and attacks or causes damage to the body or part of the body. Some infections can reach the blood stream and become generalised throughout the body. This is known as a bacteraemia or bloodstream infection.

Healthcare associated infections (HCAI) are those infections that develop as a direct result of medical or surgical treatment or any contact in a healthcare setting. They occur in hospitals and in health or social care settings in the community and affect both patients and healthcare workers.

What are the Main Types of HCAI?

HCAI is a catch-all term for a wide range of infections. The most well known HCAIs include those caused by meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), meticillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) and Escherichia coli (E.Coli), but there are many others we need to be aware of.

Simple guides to healthcare associated infections

The simple guides to Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA), Clostridium difficile and Escherichia coli provide clear and easy explanations on these infections. These guides can be used by communications staff, ward managers and others to help raise awareness about healthcare associated infections with staff and patients.  Each guide explains what each infection is, how it develops, ways in which it can cause infection and how to prevent infection.

Staphylococcus aureus (PDF, 49.0 KB)

Clostridium difficile (PDF, 39.8 KB)

Escherichia coli (PDF, 56.6 KB)

For further information and useful links, click here.

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