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Pseudomonas: A common but deadly bacteria

Patients in hospitals don't go to seek help in the hope that their condition will worsen while they are there. They are obviously seeking to have their conditions treated or managed. Unfortunately, there are some issues that are present in hospitals that can attack unsuspecting patients.

One of the dangers that patients face in a hospital setting is the risk of an infection. Many people focus on MRSA infections when they think of this. However, there are other infections that can manifest in this setting. One of these is Pseudomonas. Here are some points to know about Pseudomonas:

Common bacteria

Pseudomonas are common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under normal circumstances, they don't pose a hazard to humans. The issue comes in when patients who are considered medically fragile are exposed to them since these patients usually have weakened immune systems. In the hospital, many patients fall under this category. Those who have burns, open wounds and catheters are at an increased risk of becoming infected.

Risks of infection

There are several different effects that an infection from Pseudomonas can have on the patient. In the least serious cases, there might be a mild external infection, such as an infected hair follicle. In the most serious cases, patients can suffer from serious internal infections of the bloodstream, lungs, or heart.

Infections of the soft tissue, internal organs, ears, urinary tract, open wounds, bones and joints are all possible. The symptoms of an infection can vary greatly from redness and pain to general malaise.

Preventing infection

Pseudomonas is waterborne, which makes it especially troubling in a hospital setting. It can live on equipment and areas that come into contact with water. It can spread through water lines, pools and hot tubs, which can make it difficult to control unless there are proper sanitation methods in place.

As far as health care workers go, washing hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of Pseudomonas infections. Simply rinsing the hands isn't enough. They need to use soaps and disinfectants that can combat the bacteria.

Treatment is iffy

There is a chance that treatment for Pseudomonas will be successful. However, this might not be the case. Last year, newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit of Price George's Hospital Center died after they were exposed to this bacteria. As the rate of infections that are resistant to antibiotics grows, health care workers will need to take extra steps to protect vulnerable patients.

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