Friday, 1 February 2008

Keeping track of infections that happen while in hospital

An example of how minuscule particles can be caught between dermal ridges in the hand, yet remain unseen by the naked eye. Washing one's hands removes such contaminants.
Infections acquire while in hospital (nosocomial infections) are quite common. Aspergillus infections can be extremely serious especially if a patient is severely immune-compromised, for example patients being treated for leukemia or transplant recipients.
It has been extremely difficult to obtain information on these outbreaks, but now there is an initiative to address that problem.

The Outbreak Worldwide database aims to collect details of all reported nosocomial outbreaks and allows free access to all information collected. Doctors can contribute and get important information and contact details to study the risk factors involved in each type of infection - potentially an important step forward to understanding this problem.

Originally set up with details of 1000 outbreaks reported in the scientific literature but it already contains records of more than 2100 incidents, 23 involving aspergillus.

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