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What is a healthcare associated infection?

A Healthcare Associated Infection (or Hospital Acquired Infection as they are sometimes known) are infections that patients pick up while they are staying in hospital. Infections are most likely to be acquired during surgery. They can also be contracted whilst receiving treatment such as an IV or PICC line.

The two most common healthcare associated infections are MRSA (or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and Clostridium difficile.

Healthcare providers have strict guidelines to follow to prevent spreading infections to patients. These guidelines include effective hand washing, safe disposal of used equipment, appropriate use of catheters; as well as the use of cubicle curtains that have antimicrobial treatment.

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