SKIN AND INFECTION PREVENTION: SOME PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Our skin is a real organ, with important functions: first of all, being the barrier for our body with respect to the outside world. Moreover, the epidermis, the most superficial part of our skin, is usually inhabited by a “resident” bacterial flora, which contributes to its barrier function, hindering the growth of pathogenic microbes. So our skin is able to defend our body, both passively and actively, from the entrance of infections.
In fact, if our skin comes into contact with people or objects where pathogenic germs are present, it acquires a transitory flora that could cause infections in contact with eyes or other critical points of our body, or in places where skin is not intact.
One of the most risky situations in this regard is hospital assistance.
It is important to remember, by visiting a hospitalized patient, that clothing, linen, furniture and other objects close to the patient can be contaminated above all by staphylococci and streptococci, which live well both in humid and dry environments. It is even easier to meet pathogenic microorganisms in hospital rooms toilets. Obviously, to these risks, also all the operations that concern the actual nursing care add up, for example the dressing of a wound or a suture, the maneuvers affecting insertion and separation of drip and catheters, the respiratory tract and the secretions of patients.
The applicable prevention in these cases concerns in particular:
- Avoiding visits to patients if you are already debilitated and / or are yourself a carrier of potential infections (even banal colds)
- Avoiding or minimizing contact with the critical points listed above
- Applying adequate washing to the hands, both before and after the visit; this precaution also concerns other situations of daily life.
Preventing infections is not difficult, after all, if you are better informed about the defense mechanisms of our body and how to avoid risk situations.