If the WHO is to be believed, all over the world 2 million people are infected due to hospital-acquired infections in the world. This statistic is alarming since it is the number that applies at any given point in time. Diseases tend to weaken our immune system and to be attacked by infections in the place we are supposed to be safe. Neutropenia is an ailment that causes your white blood cells to be reduced extensively making us susceptible to dangers lurking inside the hospital. However, hospitals are supposed to follow some precautions as suggested by the National Institutes of Health Sciences and they are important.
A Vital Safety Measure: Neutropenic Precautions In Hospital Environment!
Neutrophils or less number of white blood cells significantly compromise the immune system. There could be several reasons why one could be affected by neutropenia. Some of them include infections caused by multiple infarctions. In some cases, it is a serious threat to the bone marrow which is presented in over 1.4 Million people which is high as far as the other diseases are concerned. The ailment becomes especially threatening because it can affect your body when you are at your worst including cancer, radiation, chemotherapy, HIV, Hepatitis, and some antipsychotic medications.
The symptoms of the disease are extremely elusive including high fever, ulcers, and sores. Moreover, they mainly present to us as common infections so often the distinction is quite impossible. That is the reason why hospitals are instructed to be as cautious as they can. When you are a victim of Cancer, it is almost inevitable that Neutropenia will attack you; there is over 81 % chance according to various studies. If this is the case, the need for neutropenic hospital precautions cannot be ignored.
Though universally the same, most doctors have their modifications to the patient’s self-care policies as the risk is higher or lower. The patients at risk are
- Restricted to private rooms- This limits their exposure to other patients who have communicable diseases like sore throat or even COVID-19.
- Are instructed to wear masks- Immunosuppressed patients can benefit a whole lot by wearing masks. It prevents them air airborne diseases which are very communicable.
- Given antibiotics- A cancer patient has only a few options available for them due to their fragile state. The doctors can however suggest some particular medications after assessing the situation closely.
- Given hygienic treatment- Discard the gloves, and wash your hands with soap and water for 15 seconds before coming into contact with the patients.
- Encouraged to undergo aseptic techniques- There are chances that the patients often need invasive procedures as part of their patient care, therefore the hospital should try and avoid it as much as possible. This should be kept in mind while tubing for catheters in the intestine, abdomen, trachea, pleural, and mediastinum.
- Are not allowed to meet their pets- animals carry multiple viruses which are often not recognized by humans. These are not usually harmful but when your immunity is compromised it is not beyond the limit.
- Not exposed to plants or mosses as well as negative temperature- Pollen allergy can be fatal.
- No bystanders are allowed- The ones that are unharming to us can be fatal to patients with weak immunity.
- No exposure to stagnant water- Stagnant water can be breeding grounds for various insects and that cannot be entertained at any cost.
- Use of handwash- The patients are also given handwashes that are nonalcohol-based.
However, the effectiveness of these precautions is always brought into question. Many researchers believe that the precautions are only on paper and not practical. This is the reason why there is a steep growth in infection cases. Looking at the feasibility of these procedures, hospitals often stop following them due to the large costs they incur; gloves masks, aprons, and nonalcohol-based hand sanitizers are expensive. Additionally, a large percentage of hospitals are not even provided with a suitable number of resources. Even if they are available, they often get used for critical operations, which, again, jeopardizes the situation.
Doctors also recommend that patients be careful when they are at home, They should be eating foods that can increase immunity along with antioxidants that are as light as possible on our body. In the future, it is expected that there will be a change in the way the neutropenic protocols are activated in the hospital.
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