Date of Conferral
Nosocomial infections are a cause of concern for hospital patients and the incidence rates of these infections are greater in intensive care units (ICUs) due to the invasive nature of treatments, additional risk factors and comorbidities, and therapies used. Invasive devices, such as vascular central lines, Foley catheters, and mechanical ventilators pose a risk for critically ill patients in the ICUs to develop device-related, healthcare-associated infections (HAI). The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiological characteristics of patients who developed device-related HAIs within 3 ICU units (medical-surgical, cardiovascular, and neurosurgical) of an academic medical facility. The ecosocial theory of disease distribution provided the theoretical framework for the study to describe how ecological and social determinants interact and affect health variances. Secondary data were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson correlations, and chi-square statistical tests. A total of 4,213 patients admitted to the 3 ICUs from 2010-2014 were identified. According to the chi-square analysis, there was significant association between race/ethnicity and type of device-associated infection; between gender and types of infection; and between risk factors (diabetes, obesity, smoking habits) and kinds of infection, all of which the statistical significance had varied for each individual ICU. Bacterial differences were noted between device-associated infections. The potential positive social change from this study could be insight on possible new processes and interventions to reduce nosocomial infections and improve adult ICU patient outcomes such as decreased HAIs, decreased length of stay, comorbidities, and cost for both the patient and the hospital.