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What Role Do Families & Visitors Play in Transmitting Healthcare-Associated Infections?


Matt Linam, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, explains how families and visitors can play a role in transmitting healthcare-associated infections.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Families and visitors seem to play a pretty important role in the transmission of healthcare-associated viral infections for a lot of the same reasons that healthcare workers can be a source of transmission. Families and visitors often don’t clean their hands before they go into a patient room or have contact with a patient. Their hands can be contaminated just like healthcare workers and they can transmit viruses to patients that way.

Families and visitors also, without intending to cause harm, sometimes come to the hospital when they have symptoms of some sort of illness, or they may have just some mild respiratory symptoms and not think much of it, but their symptoms can then be transmitted to the child that’s hospitalized and can be a cause for infection.

So, trying to keep families and visitors away when they’re ill and helping them to also do hand hygiene (again the basics) are important ways to protect kids from respiratory viral infections.”
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