The Chain of Infection. As healthcare professionals, it is important to understand two facts about infection :. The various ways infection can be transmitted. 2. The ways the infection chain can be broken. There are six links in the chain of infection:. 1st - The Infectious Agent.
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The various ways infection can be transmitted.
2. The ways the infection chain can be broken.
- Any disease-causing microorganism (pathogen)
-The organism in which the infectious microbes reside
What are “Carrier Hosts?”
Hosts that do not show any outward signs or symptoms of a disease, but are still capable of transmitting the disease are known as carriers.
-Route of escape of the pathogen from the reservoir
Examples: respiratory secretions, blood exposure, breaks in skin
-Method by which the pathogen gets from the reservoir to the new host
Transmission may occur through:
-Route through which the pathogen enters its new host
Urinary & Reproductive Tracts
Breaks in Protective Skin Barrier
-The organism that accepts the pathogen
The support of pathogen life and its reproduction depend on the degree of the host’s resistance.
Organisms with strong immune systems are better able to fend off pathogens.
Organisms with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the support and reproduction of pathogens.
How to interrupt the chain of infection:
-The essential part of patient care and self-protection.
-Identification of infectious agent and appropriate treatment
-Potential hosts and carriers must practice asepsis and maintain proper personal hygiene
-Healthcare personnel must practice standard precautions:
Control body secretions and wash hands according to protocol.
-Prevent direct or indirect contact by:
Disinfection & sterilization techniques
Isolation of infected patients
Not working when contagious
-Healthcare professionals must make sure that ports of entryare not subjected to pathogens.
(nose, mouth, eyes, urinary tract, open wounds, etc.)
-Healthcare professionals must recognize and protect high-risk patients.
“Remember--breaking the chain of
infection is the responsibility
of each healthcare professional.”