Infection control general principles

Infection acquired within the ICU is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and increased duration of stay. There are remarkable variations in practice for which the lack of a good evidence base is chiefly responsible. Examples include different policies with regard to patient isolation, microbiological surveillance, handwashing procedures, use of impregnated vascular catheters, the duration of indwelling catheters, and frequency of change of disposables such as intravenous giving sets and filters. It is nevertheless accepted that adequate handwashing before and after patient contact and strict aseptic technique when performing procedures are mandatory.

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