Risk for Infection Care Plan

Human immune system is made up of a variety of cells that are designed to protect the body from different pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. When a pathogen enters a human body, it will face the barrier of skin epidermal layer and mucus membrane as the first protection. If any pathogen escapes or evades this first line of defense, then second line of defense activates. It is imperative to mention that second line of defense is made up of different set of cells that exert their action by phagocytizing the microbes and eliminating them from the body. Sometimes, the invasion of an infectious agent is so strong that it can penetrate into the blood stream and different organs via open wounds caused by any accident, trauma, cut, etc., causing serious ailment. For this reason, developing a thorough infection care plan is necessary.

Nursing Care Plan to Reduce the Risk for Infection

Risk for infection care plan is essential for developing a safe system to reduce the incidence of infection.

1.  Regular Assessment

  • ŸAssessment of body temperature: Body temperature should be maintained at normal basal levels, therefore,it is important to check and record the temperature at regular interval of time. Body temperature greater than 100.4°F in 48 hours of surgery can be related with surgical stress while temperature greater than 99.8° F after 48 hours signifies the presence of infection.
  • ŸAssessment of risk factors: Assess the medical and general physical history to see if certain risk factors are present, such as if catheter is attached, if any open wounds, abrasions or tubes like drainage tubes or tracheostomy tubes are present. If the patient has the risk factors, care is very important to safeguard the portal to stop infectious agent entry.
  • ŸInspection of multiple elements: Inspection of multiple elements, such as any foul or disagreeable odor coming from catheter, presence of any erythema or rash, etc., can also help a great deal in early detection, because these are usually suggestive of the infection, which must be included in the risk for infection care plan.
  • ŸNutritional status of patient: Maintain a sound record of the nutritional status of the patient. Nutrition record involves weight of the patient, serum albumin concentrations, etc. It is especially important for patients with low body weight to initiate necessary supplementation in time. Patients with poor nutritional status are susceptible to develop more serious infections.
  • ŸAmniotic sac in pregnant women: Make sure that there is no ruptured amniotic sac or cavity in pregnant females. Ruptured amniotic sac for prolonged period of time can increase the risk of infection for infant as well as the pregnant mother.
  • ŸIncidence of active infections: Assess the incidence of active infections present in the community.
  • ŸMedication and drug history: Check the patient's past medication or drug record. Use of corticosteroids and anti-cancer agents can reduce the immunity significantly and make the patient more susceptible for opportunistic infections.
  • ŸImmunity status: Assess the patient's immunity status. Check if the patient has received all the immunization vaccines.
  • ŸAssess blood reports: Notify any change in the blood reports. Increased white blood concentrations (more than 11000 mm3) represent the presence of any pathogenic infection in the body. Concentrations less than 1000 mm3 represent severe infection as body does not have enough cells to fight against any pathogen.

2.  Therapeutic Considerations

  • ŸMaintain aseptic conditions: Maintain aseptic environment when changing the dressing, or dealing directly with the intravenous equipment. This is important in risk for infection care plan.
  • ŸHand sanitization: Maintain appropriate sanitary conditions and advise patient to wash hands properly before and after eating food and using toilet. Washing hands after regular intervals decreases infection risk. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are good choices when sanitation is required.
  • ŸLimit visitors: When active infection is present, limit the times that the patient meet with visitors.
  • ŸFluid intake: Maintain a regular fluid intake of approximately 2000 ml of water per day, unless the patient has edematous condition and water is contraindicated. This amount of water favors urination and reduces the risk of renal infections.
  • ŸBreathing: Patient must be encouraged to breathe deeply. For this purpose, spirometer can be used, which will help in reduction of secretions in bronchial section.
  • ŸUse of antimicrobial agents: Educate the patient the use of antimicrobial agents, including anti-biotic, ant-viraland anti-fungal.
  • ŸProtective environment: Place the patient with active infections in a protective environment or isolated area. Protective environment becomes necessary when white blood cell count of patient is below 1000 mm3.

3.  Patient Education Care

  • Educate patient to limit the contact with anyone who has colds or infections, or is suffering from any contagious disease if his or her immune system is compromised. Actually, everyone should include this measure into his or her risk for infection care plan.
  • Educate the patient different techniques for maintaining hygienic conditions. Ask the patient to use soft bristle toothbrush if the patient has bleeding problems or low platelet count.
  • Teach the patient the importance of anti-biotic. Teach them the proper use of medications and the importance of taking medications on time and not skipping them. Educate patients to complete the course of anti-biotic.
  • Educate the patient how to identify an infection and how to take any preliminary action against that problem.
  • If the patient uses any catheter or carries a urine bag for longer period of time, discuss the risks of using such tools with patients, tell them that infectious condition may develop with use of such items, also teach them the appropriate way to handle the regularly used medical instruments
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