Where Are Outbreaks Most Likely to Occur in Healthcare Facilities?


Arjun Srinivasan, MD, explains where outbreaks are most likely to occur within healthcare facilities.

Arjun Srinivasan, MD, Associate Director, Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains where outbreaks are most likely to occur within healthcare facilities.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“We see outbreaks all over healthcare facilities; they can occur in all different sorts of places, oftentimes in areas where patients are receiving the most complex care. Places where we see more outbreaks [are] intensive care units [where there are] lots of patients, lots of patients who are very ill, complex care, lots of devices. There may be a ventilator; they may be doing dialysis there. So, that’s a place [where] we see outbreaks. [We also see them in] operating rooms, [where], again, [there are] the same type of factors; you’ve got lots of devices that are in play [and] lots of people moving in and out.

There [are] common factors for outbreaks in healthcare; [they] tend to be anytime you have an area of the hospital where you’ve got some of your most vulnerable patients who are at the highest risk, receiving the most intensive care. Oftentimes, when there are lots of devices and medications that are also being used, those tend to be places like intensive care units, operating rooms, dialysis centers. But, what’s important for healthcare personnel to know is that an outbreak can occur in any location in the hospital. There are places where they are somewhat more common, but we have to be vigilant for them everywhere.”

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