Last week we held a webinar on antimicrobial stewardship and infection control.

We published a summary of what we talked about in relation to antimicrobial stewardship here.

This week we're covering the key points we discussed surrounding infection control.

For a PDF of this information in more detail head to our homepage and download our Infection Control Guide.

 

Infection Outbreaks in Elderly Care

Residents live and eat in close quarters, producing abundant opportunities for infection outbreaks to occur. 

The spread of infection in care homes is particularly dangerous. 

Older people are likely to be frail and have multiple health conditions that can complicate recovery from infection.

Invasive medical devices are also commonly used in care homes.

These are known to increase the risk of infection.

Having policies in place can reduce the risk of infection and help staff react promptly when outbreaks do occur.

 

Hand Decontamination

Effective hand hygiene practices can prevent the spread of infection.

The Five Moments for Hand Hygiene can be included in your organisational policy to promote best practice. 

The Five Moments for Hand Hygiene:

  • Before touching a resident
  • Before a procedure 
  • After a procedure or a bodily fluid exposure risk 
  • After touching a resident
  • After touching a resident and surroundings 

Hand hygiene should also be performed after the removal of gloves. 

 

PPE

Personal Protective Equipment is used to protect staff from exposure to blood or bodily fluids. 

This should always be worn while performing any procedure where there is a known or potential risk of exposure. 

 

Sharps

A sharp is any object capable of penetrating the skin which may or may not to contaminated with blood or bodily fluids. 

Reduce your risk of an injury: 

  • Do not bend, break or recap needles 
  • Make a verbal announcement before passing sharps
  • Keep hand to hand passing of sharps to a minimum
  • Use a basin or kidney dish as a neutral zone through which to pass sharps
  • Dispose of sharps at the point of use into an approved sharps container 

 

Waste Disposal

Clinical waste is anything arising from medical, nursing or pharmaceutical practice which may cause infection. 

You should have your own organisational policy for the disposal of clinical waste.

This should be communicated to staff and visual reminders placed around the care home.

 

Catheter Care 

Catheters can be used to manage urinary retention or to aid wound healing where incontinence is preventing this.

Catheters should not be used to maintain routine incontinence as the contra indications can cause additional problems.

Risks of catheter use include:

  • Blockages
  • Leakage
  • Pain
  • Haematuria

Catheters and all invasive devices increase the risk of infection.

Best practice infection control states that catheters and other invasive devices should be used for the minimum time possible.

Policies should be in place at the facility for the care and storage of all devices. This needs to be communicated in the care plan.

Staff also need to be well informed of the signs and symptoms that could indicate infection in the resident. 

 

Download our infection control guide from our homepage for more detailed information.

Next week we will be publishing our final blog in the series: managing and documenting infection outbreaks. 

 

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This post was written by AutumnCare