Nurses are urged to take a serious role in preventing Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) in patients under their care.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said infection prevention and control were important components in nursing care.
“Nurses play an important role in the prevention of HCAI by ensuring all aspects of nursing practice are carried out.
“Therefore, I urge every member of healthcare including nurses to show leadership in preventing and controlling infections with their knowledge,” he said in his speech at the First National Nursing Infection Control Conference themed “War Against Sepsis:The Fight We Can’t Afford To Lose” launched, here, today.
It was hoped that their knowledge would reduce the occurrence of HCAI and sepsis and increase patients’ care, safety and quality, he added.
In the speech read by Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar, Dr Lee said HCAI was one of the contributing factors to sepsis among high risk patients such as the elderly, pregnant women, babies, immuno-suppressive patients like those who had AIDS, HIV and cancer.
“And Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) is identified to be the biggest factor contributing to ineffective treatment of patients,” he said.
Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection.
“If it is not detected and treated in the early stages, it could lead to septic shock, organ failure and death.
“Septic is a serious infection especially in lower and middle income nations where it is a contributing factor for the mortality and morbidity of mothers and children,” he said, adding that HCAI resulted in prolonged hospital stays, increased morbidity and mortality, and increased cost of treatment.
Dr Lee said it was closely related to the occurrence of antibiotic resistance which led to difficulty in treating infections.
It has been reported that sepsis has affected some 30 million people around the world and caused death in 6 million people, he said.
However the ministry’s national data in 2017 showed a lower figure of only two patients for every 100 hospitals.