Pune’s Noble Hospital for reducing Hospital Acquired Infections through safer Infusion therapy to hospitalized patients

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Pune is among the first cities to have adopted a safer infusion therapy system for patients to avoid any infections acquired in hospitals, especially in ICU’s and CCU’s.

Quoting a recent incidence of death of a 6 year old girl in a Hyderabad hospital due to contaminated IV fluid, Dr H K Sale, Executive Director, Noble Hospital, Pune says that “The issue of patient safety has been a major concern among the medical community.  One of the significant contributors to medical mishaps is considered to be hospital-acquired infections. Many reports suggest that preventable medical errors have put a lot of focus on patient safety mechanisms especially when the patient is admitted in the hospital.” 

Hospital Associated Infections (HAI) can be one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, as a study suggests that  1  in 10 patients acquires HAI and at any given time, there are 1.4 million patients worldwide suffering from HAI. There are various types of HAI affecting various sites like urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, respiratory infections pneumonia, blood infections, skin (especially burns), gastrointestinal tract infections, and central nervous system infections.

Many of the pathogens that cause HAI have a high level of resistance to antibiotic treatments. These emerging pathogens are the most serious concerns, because they are more difficult to treat. Possibility of HAI is increased while using vented IV containers, preparing an IV set and while injecting drugs into IV containers.

About 80% of all HAI can be prevented with the help of proper infection control tools & methods. Studies have shown that the patient has to bear the brunt of these infections in terms of increase in time spent in the hospital as well as increase in the cost of treatment. On the other hand, prevention of infection saves lives & money.

Administration of IV fluids is one of the essential procedures in a hospital. Currently these solutions are present in a large variety of containers like glass, PE/FFS & PVC bags. Each type of container may be used for certain specific tasks. Thus, it becomes necessary for the healthcare worker to have sufficient know-how about the pros & cons of each. 

These plastic or glass bottles used for infusion therapy, needs a normal practice where the nurses have to prick a needle into the plastic bottle or open the air in-let of the IV sets with Glass bottles for the fluid to flow into the patient’s body. This may lead to infection from the micro-organisms that enter into the bottle & may cause severe infection to the patients. 

However, not all medicines can be administered with all container materials; for example, paclitaxel & docetaxel cannot be given in PVC bags. Ignorance amongst healthcare workers can lead to serious medication error which can lead to life threatening situations for the patient. Although exact estimates are difficult to find, it is not surprising that an industry as stretched, complex, and burdened as the medical industry is fraught with errors.

Dr  H K Sale added that “To prevent this type of infections from the infected air going inside the bottle, some medical institutions & hospitals have started to use the new state of the art  German technology for IV solutions. These new IV containers are very advanced which does not require any needle prick for collapsibility that ensures high patient safety.” 

Not only the medical staff but also patient and their families should be conscious about usage of closed system I.V fluid containers with no interference of external air i.e.  No pricking needle on the IV bottle during infusion. The new advanced products offer higher standards of safety to patient & also convenience in application of all IV procedures from infusion preparation to drug admixing to drug delivery. 

No venting is necessary with this close Infusion system made by German Technology which collapses completely when emptying. Interestingly there is no need of needles to allow entry of air, all this keeps the patient least prone to any external infection.

International bodies like CDC & NIOSH also recommend risk free drug admixture which reduces potential microbiological contamination. Accurate fluid delivery to the patient is also very important. The latest technology design of Closed Infusion System should facilitate dosage accuracy & should also be compatible with all pharmaceutical drugs. 

With rate of HAI scaling in the hospitals in India, it is important that patients stay well informed and aware to insist upon a Closed Infusion System only. While medical technologies are ever advancing and use of extremely advanced and high end surgical implants and other live saving devices and drugs are in common use in India, it’s completely logical to spend on these low cost basic and primary peripheral medical products that can ensure higher standards of patient safety.