The Perfect Storm: Emerging Trends and Pathogens in Healthcare

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Clinical Laboratory Science


In 1999, the article To Err is Human brought healthcare-associated infections (HAI) to the nation’s attention. However, the risk posed by healthcare facilities to those who went there for healing had not developed overnight. Decades of changing demography, microbial evolution, and –ironically-- healthcare advancements had resulted in this perfect storm. Since the change in paradigm in healthcare that nosocomial or healthcare-associated infections are a natural consequence of treatment to a practice of surveillance and prevention, hospital acquired infections are no longer considered consequences of inpatient treatment. Prevention of healthcare-associated infections includes protecting patients, healthcare workers, visitors, volunteers and health science students. This paper aims to describe the contributory roles of affected populations with their attendant, diverse healthcare sites and healthcare workers, and emerging pathogens.