So what does risk of infection means? Basically it means the increased risk for your body to allow pathogenic organisms to invade your body. There are immune systems in our body which protects us from organisms such as bacterium, virus, fungus, parasites etc. These harmful organisms invade our body through various ways especially when our body is susceptible to injuries, cut; basically just exposed to the environment. Human bodies are built in a way to fight bacteria, germs or any harmful organisms. There are resolute cells in our body which deals with this sort of threat. The human immune system is what keeps us alive, if it weren’t for it, we would’ve fallen to injuries ages go.
Sometimes our immune system can get weakened due to various reasons and thus a breach is created, the breach can be any injury or exposed area, it can also be airborne or sexually transferred; using the breach harmful organism enter our body and affect different parts of our internal organs. These organisms can enter deep inside our body affecting every cell in their way, internal organs such as lungs or kidneys and externally in all over our body, infections can happen anywhere. Some infections are highly contagious while others are static and do not spread.
There are basically two ways to cure an infection, one is by using antimicrobials while is by immunization and also it is also scientifically proven that hand wash is the best way to break the chain of infection! It means prevention is better than cure! There are various nursing diagnoses and interventions for infection. It is like a nursing plan, the following interventions are noted below –
First comes the assessment process, it is to check the patient and analyze the skin to determine the presence or existence of infection. The skin color, moisture, texture is tested to see if any redness, swelling or any other skin irritation is occurring or not. If the presence of infection or disease is found then immediate actions are taken and thus preventing the breakdown of skin which is the body’s first line of defense against harmful organisms.
After the initial assessment the patient needs to be regularly monitored, for example taking notes of their vital signs or checking their nutritional status; for the immune system to function properly a healthy nutritional status is required.
For the next step, their blood cells, serum protein and serum albumin are measured and give proper medication or medicines. Then comes the part where they examine the white blood cell to look for any anomalies, a body has a normal white blood cell count of 4500 – 11000, below this level means severe chance of getting infected. A patient’s immunization history is checked then, a patient with a bad immunization history may not have sufficient level of immunity to begin with. An immunization record is basically a timeline of all the vaccinations a patient has received so far. Regular assessment of the patient’s body temperature is extremely important as some neutropenia patients have inflammatory issues.
Some general signs of infection are swelling, catheters or drains, irritation of skin so regular monitoring is important after or before the diagnosis. Even apart from the regular medication, nurses are required to encourage and motivate patients to do other necessary basic tasks properly, for example advising them to have sufficient amount of sleep to reduce stress, anxiety and boost stamina. Other required tasks include eating a balanced diet, washing hands regularly, and increasing fluid intake. If these tasks are done efficiently, what will happen is the pressure of the medication will reduce drastically.
Nurses are also required to change the position of patients frequently; staying in one position for too long sometimes puts pressure on the patient’s body and also prevents stasis of secretion. Check the color of respiratory secretions, yellow or yellow-green sputum is indicative of respiratory infection. Cloudy, turbid, foul-smelling urine with visible sediment is indicative of urinary tract or bladder infection.
Even apart from any sort of care plan or diagnosis, there are some other factors which can determine the outcome of the diagnosis. For example, the nurses wearing gloves or protection during any contact with mucus, blood, and other body fluids. It prevents the hands from getting contaminated by preventing the transfer of organisms to pass through the hands to body or body to hands.
Limiting visitors is also another factor; the patient might get exposed to other organisms or pathogens that might put them into more risk. And the visitors come to visit, provide them with surgical mask for precaution, letting the visitors know the importance of preventing droplet transmission from themselves to others can help reduce the risk of infection.