What are HAI’s?

HAI stands for Hospital Acquired Infections and are infections which develop in a patient as a consequence of his or her exposure to bacteria and viruses in health care environments. HAI’s include infections acquired in hospitals or health care facilities, but which do not appear until after the patient has been discharged.

How do HAI’s affect us?

HAI impose additional suffering on patients and their families due to pro-longed hospital stays, resulting in additional costs to the health care system and the overall economy. Studies show that HAI cause in-hospital and post-discharge costs to triple. In addition, costs such as lost work time, community care etc. should also be considered.

How do HAI’s spread?

Infectious bacteria can survive under the right conditions in hospitals and health care facilities for weeks, and months.

Tests have even shown that some MRSA bacteria have been revived after surviving one year in a dusty hospital environment. The bacteria live and grow on bedrails, curtains, call buttons, door handles – all possible surfaces, even radiators. They spread easily in dirty environments through the so-called cross-contamination phenomenon.

Cross-contamination means that bacteria are passed from one patient to another through contaminated items in the health care environment. When these items are touched by a person, the bacteria are transferred to this person, who then transfers them on to the next item or person he or she touches and so on.

Facts about HAI

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extra days of hospital stay are caused by HAI in Europe per year
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extra cost per year can attributed directly to HAI in the UK
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Hospital Acquired Infections are the fourth leading cause of death in Canada.

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