Overview of Infection Prevention and Control

August 31, 2015 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Long-term care facilities pose unique infection control risks to residents. Residents share living spaces, circulated air, high-touch surfaces, and equipment (e.g., physical and occupational therapy equipment) and typically socialize freely with one another. They may have direct or indirect contact with visitors and staff as well. Residents may introduce infections into the facility when they are transferred from other care settings or home. (CMS) For a discussion of resident and organizational risk factors, see Resident and Organizational Risk Factors for Infection.

The estimated number of infections occurring in U.S. nursing homes annually ranges from 1.4 to 5.2 infections per 1,000 resident-days, or 765,000 to 2.8 million infections overall. However, because of the increasing complexity of care, these numbers may underestimate the actual incidence of infections in these settings. (U.S. HHS)

Infections that are of common concern in long-term care include the following (Smith et al. "SHEA/APIC Guideline"):

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Figure. Incidence of Common Endemic Infections in Long-Term Care presents...

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