Posted on January 05, 2019

Improved infection control practices across Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) network of hospitals has helped to achieve significant reduction in hospital-acquired infections among patients admitted to Intensive Care Units. Several facilities have recorded zero incidents of certain infections and HMC aims to achieve it in all ICU units across the network of hospitals this year, said Dr Jameela Al Ajmi, Executive Director of Corporate Infection Prevention and Control at HMC.

Hospital-acquired infection can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and other parts of the body, commonly to patients admitted to the ICUs. “HMC’s Corporate Infection Prevention and Control Division has always been proactive in keeping infections away across all our hospitals. Our aim is to have a safe environment for patients, without getting any harm by infections caught in the hospital, as they can cause complications and even death,” Al Ajmi told The Peninsula. The medical ICU and trauma ICU of Hamad General Hospital (HGH) have recorded zero bloodstream infections. 

The medical ICU, surgical ICU and pediatric ICU at the Al Wakra Hospital have also recorded zero incidents of bloodstream infections. The neonatal intensive care unit at Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) has recorded zero incidents of pneumonia. The ICU at Heart Hospital has recorded zero urinary tract infections through catheterization. “We aim to achieve zero hospital-acquired infections among patients at all ICUs in 2019,” said  Dr Al Ajmi, who is also a senior consultant for infectious diseases. 

HMC through its Infection Prevention and Control Program (IPCP), encourages clinical staff working across its network of hospitals to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections and ensure a safe and healthy hospital environment for patients, healthcare providers and visitors. “We created widespread awareness about infection control among the healthcare professionals. It includes training and educating the staff through different programmes. We have a special focus on hand hygiene as it is a proven method of controlling the spread of infections,” said Dr  Al Ajmi. “Above 95 percent of healthcare workers among all HMC facilities follow hand hygiene practices and protocols. It is a significant achievement,” she added. 

Dr Al Ajmi said that the transmission of bloodborne pathogens such as the Hepatitis B and C Viruses (HBV and HBC) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from patients to healthcare workers, or vice versa, is an occupational health hazard faced by healthcare providers.  “However, we do not have recorded of any such cases of such infections among healthcare workers,” she said.

source: The Peninsula