Fundamentals of infection

Infection and infectious process is an important topic in any nursing licensing exams. Hence it is important for all nurses to have accurate knowledge about the fundamentals of infection process.

Infection and infectious process is an important topic in any nursing licensing exams. Hence it is important for all nurses to have accurate knowledge about the fundamentals of infection process.
Infection occurs as the result of a chain of events, referred to as the chain of infection.

The following are links in the chain of infection:

1, infectious agent—the organism that causes infection. This can be bacteria/fungus/virus/parasites or anything.

2, reservoir—the place where the organism grows – This may be in water / food/ blood/ body fluids/plants/animals. It is not necessary that they show any signs and symptoms of infection. Some of them are asymptomatic. We might call them “carriers”.

3, portal of exit—the method by which the organism leaves the reservoir. This include body fluids/ stool/ drainages etc.

4, mode of transmission—the vehicle for organism transfer –The transmission mode can be contact/droplet/airborne.

5, portal of entry—the method by which the organism enters a susceptible host – This varies. You might know about oro-fecal route or blood transfusion route or mother to baby through placenta. Some enter through invasive procedures. Hand hygiene is so important to prevent this.

6, susceptible host—the person whom the organism enters – This is the person who is sick now.

If we can break the chain at any point……there will not be any infection. That’s why simple techniques like hand washing, disinfecting and proper disposal of waste are extremely important.

Lets BREAK the CHAIN!

Anila