Elderly Care Ward/Geriatric Ward
Minimising the risk of infection in the elderly is clearly a key priority on any Elderly Care or Geriatric Ward. As people age, there are a whole host of defective or compromised defences that reduce the ability to ward off infectious agents.
Just some of the factors include immune senescence (gradual deterioration of the immune system), changes in innate/non-adaptive immunity (the body's first reaction to an infectious challenge), chronic diseases, medications, malnutrition and functional impairments. For example, T-lymphocyte production and proliferation decline with age. This can result in decreased cell-mediated immunity and decreased antibody production to new antigens. Thinning skin, enlarged prostate, diminished cough reflex and other anatomical or physiological changes as a result of aging can also render the elderly more vulnerable to infection.
Add to this chronic diseases (like cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and dementia) which can predispose the elderly to certain types of infection and medications such as sedatives, narcotics, anticholinergics and gastric acid suppressants which may suppress the body's natural defences. Malnutrition, which is all too common in the elderly, can reduce cell-mediated immunity. Finally, functional impairments (such as immobility, incontinence and dysphagia/swallowing problems) can complicate aging and enhance susceptibility to infection especially as these impairments may necessitate the use of urinary catheters, feeding tubes and other invasive devices that magnify susceptibility. So whether on their own or in combination, these factors can place the geriatric population at a very high risk of nosocomial infection.
Bioquell offers a range of solutions to help with eradicating environmental infectious agents. We also have solutions to allow for the restrictive isolation of patients when side rooms are not available, helping to ensure that patients’ medical and psychological welfare is not compromised.