A Healthcare Associated Infection may be caused by infectious agents from on or within or outside the body. Examples of sources inside on or within the body are sites such as the skin, nose, mouth, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or vagina that are normally inhabited by microorganisms. Sources outside the body are those external to the patient, such as transmission by hospital staff, visitors, patient care equipment, medical devices, or the health care environment. Other outside sources that may contribute to an infection are things in your home environment such as pets, hot tubs, soiled dressings, or poor hand hygiene by yourself or family members. Many times professionals in Infection Prevention and the surgeon do not know exactly how or why you got an infection at your surgical site. Yampa Valley Medical Center has a team of professionals on staff that will give you all the information possible to help you prevent infections and to determine the cause in the unlikely event that an infection occurs. This information includes what you need to know before your surgery, what Yampa Valley Medical Center will do during your surgery, during your hospital stay and what you can do after your surgery in order to minimize your chance of getting an HAI. While your symptoms may suggest a surgical site infection, in order for this to meet the national standardized definition of a Healthcare Associated Infection, it must meet the following criteria:
- If implants were used for your surgery, this infection must occur within 1 year after surgery
- If implants were not used for your surgery, the infection must occur within 30 days after your surgery
- No other infections recognized or present on admission
- At least one of the symptoms listed in #1 above must be present
- A diagnosis of a health care associated Infection must be made by the surgeon or attending physician.