Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2015

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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BY PATRICK SCHULTZ & ANA PINTO-ALEXANDER PHOTOS BY BLAKE MARVIN One in 25 patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection during his or her hospital stay. Of these, one in nine patients who acquire an infection will die during, or as a result of, their hospitalization. This ranks as the third largest cause of death in the Western world. Direct costs for HAIs are estimated to range from $36 billion to $45 billion annually. This does not include the risk of others, such as staf and guests, contracting HAIs. Protecting patients, visitors and staf from the spread of infection is a primary concern for healthcare. Types of transmission The hospital environment serves as a key reservoir for pathogens. The pri- mary transmission routes by which bacteria and other multidrug-resistant microorganisms propagate include: Contact. Microorganisms transmitted by human contact. Precautions include hand-washing, gloving, masking, appro- priate handling of linen, environmental control, seamless fl ooring and smooth materials such as solid surface material, vinyl, chemical-resistant plastic laminate and placement of sink and glove boxes. Airborne. Microorganisms transmitted by evaporated droplets that can easily dis- sipate. Precautions include private patient rooms with negative air pressure, and air change of 12 times per hour through moni- tored HEPA fi ltration. Hospital HVAC systems not properly cleaned or operated can become sources of dust and moisture, Interior design practices that promote infection control Front-Line Protection 34 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2015 | MCDM AG.COM

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