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61 terms

Infection terms

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healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)
infections associated with healthcare given in any setting
nosocomial infections
hospital-acquired infection
chain of infection
process by which infection spreads
normal flora
beneficial microorganisms
transient flora
microbes that a person picks up by coming in contact with objects or another person
resident flora
live deep in skin layers, where they live and multiply
pathogens
microorganisms capable of causing disease
infection
successful invasion of the body by a pathogen
virulence
organism's power to cause disease
reservoir
source of infection, where pathogens survive and multiply
carriers
no symptoms of disease but act as a reservoir for disease and are able to pass on disease
portal of exit
where pathogen exits reservoir
mode of transmission
how a pathogen moves from reservoir to host
direct contact
touching, kissing, sexual intercourse
indirect contact
comes in contact with a contaminated object that transfers pathogen
droplet transmission
when pathogen travels in water droplets expelled from an infected person
airborne transmission
smaller organisms float on air currents
vector
organism that carries a pathogen to a host
portals of entry
where pathogens enter the body
susceptible host
a person at risk for infection
local
limited region of the body
systemic
pathogens invade blood or lymph and spread throughout entire body
bacteremia
clinical presence of bacteria in the blood
septicemia
symptomatic systemic infection spread via blood
primary infection
first infection that occurs in patient
secondary infection
follows primary infection; chicken pox turns into shingles later on
exogenous healthcare related infections
pathogen is acquired from the healthcare environment
endogenous healthcare related infection
pathogen arises from patient's normal flora, when some sort of treatment causes the normally harmless microbe to multiply and cause infection
acute
rapid onset but last only a short time
chronic
develop slowly and last weeks, months, or even years
latent infections
no symptoms for long periods of time, even decades, HIV
incubation stage
stage between successful invasion of the pathogen into the body and the first appearance of symptoms
prodromal stage
characterized by first appearance of vague symptoms
illness stage
stage marked by the appearance of the signs and symptoms characteristic of the disease
decline stage
stage during which the patient's immunes system and meds start to lower number of pathogens
convalescence stage
tissue repair and return to normal health
epidemic
outbreak of disease that suddenly affects a large group of people in a geographic region or in a defined population group
pandemic
an exceptionally widespread epidemic; entire country or worldwide
primary defenses
first line of defense; skin, respiratory tree, eyes, mouth, GI tract, genitourinary tract
secondary defenses
phagocytosis, complement cascade, inflammation, fever
phagocytosis
process by which specialized white blood cells engulf and destroy pathogens directly
complement cascade
process by which a set of blood proteins triggers the release of chemicals that attack the cell membranes of pathogens, causing them to rupture
inflammation
process that begins when histamine and other chemicals are released either directly from damaged cells or from basophils in response to activation of complement
fever
rise core body temp
specific immunity
process by which the body's immune cells "learn" to recognize and destroy pathogens they have encountered before
naturally acquired active immunity
when the person is exposed to a live pathogen, develops the disease, and becomes immune as a result of the primary immune response.
artificially acquired active immunity
can be induced by a vaccine, a substance that contains the antigen
Artificially acquired passive immunity
a short-term immunization by the injection of antibodies, such as gamma globulin, that are not produced by the recipient's cells.
Naturally acquired passive immunity
occurs during pregnancy, in which certain antibodies are passed from the maternal into the fetal bloodstream
superinfections
opportunistic growth or harmful transient pathogens that are normally kept in check
medical asepsis
procedures that decrease the potential for the spread of infections
asepsis
absence of contamination by disease-causing microorganisms
cleaning
removal of visible soil from objects and surfaces
disinfection
removes virtually all pathogens on inanimate objects by physical or chemical means
semicritical items
supplies and equipment that contact mucous membranes or nonintact skin
noncritical items
supplies and equipment that come in contact with intact skin but not mucous membranes
sterilization
elimination of all microorganisms in or on an object
critical items
supplies and equipment that pose a high risk for infection if the are contaminated with any microorganisms
standard precautions
first tier of protection, apply to care of all patients
transmission-based precautions
second tier of protection, outline precautions to be taken based on the mode of transmission of the infection
sterile technique
creation of a sterile environment and use of sterile equipment