Infection Prevention in Critical Care Settings

  • Gabriela Corsi-Vasquez
  • Luis Ostrosky-ZeichnerEmail author
Reference work entry


Healthcare-associated infections are those that occur 48 h after hospital admission and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality, with bloodstream and pulmonary infections carrying the highest mortality rate. These infections have an important impact on quality of care and represent an economic burden to the healthcare system. Infection prevention programs encompass a set of interventions and measures aimed at preventing spread of infections in the healthcare setting. A necessary feature for its success is dedicated leadership, which should include a hospital epidemiologist with background training in infectious diseases, a microbiologist, an infection prevention nurse, pharmacists, director of employee health, and information technicians. Critical care specialists are often key partners in infection prevention, as healthcare-associated infections tend to concentrate in critical care settings. The infection prevention program has several functions, such as surveillance, feedback and education of clinicians using surveillance data, management of isolation, promotion of hand hygiene, and evaluation of its compliance, along with developing protocols for proper insertion and maintenance of medical devices. Continued monitoring of outcomes and performance evaluation of infection prevention procedures is needed to assess the effectiveness of said interventions and to implement changes and adapt them as new surveillance date becomes available.


Infection prevention Healthcare-associated infection Hand hygiene Isolation precautions Surveillance Sterile technique Bundles Screening Quality Performance improvement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela Corsi-Vasquez
    • 1
  • Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.McGovern Medical SchoolUniversity of Texas at HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Infectious DiseasesThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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