Jacobi Raises Awareness on HAIs

The simple task of washing your hands can go a long way in saving lives, and the North Bronx Healthcare Network is making sure their staff and patients know that.

With a commitment in delivering the best possible patient care and dedication to enhance staff education, Jacobi Medical Center and the North Central Bronx Hospital, in conjunction with Kimberly-Clark, hosted the free “Preventing Hospital and Community Acquired Infections” educational event at each hospital from Wednesday, October 26 until Friday, October 28.

A mobile education bus was present at both locations courtesy of Kimberly-Clark, which provided doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals with workstations and video and audio presentations to further improve their knowledge on hospital associated infections, as well as free flu shots for patients, visitors, and staff members.

HAIs are a very common way for patients to become extremely ill while recovering from another illness inside a hospital. Patients can receive these infections easily in a hospital setting, especially if a healthcare professional does not wash his or her hands before dealing with a patient.

“HAIs are a prevalent issue in healthcare today and at Jacobi Hospital and North Central Bronx Hospital, prevention is certainly our top priority,” said NBHN senior vice president William Walsh. “Continuing education among our healthcare professionals about the latest in best practices associated with infection prevention is an effective measure for controlling the risk of HAIs.”

On Wednesday, October 26, in the atrium of Building 8 at Jacobi Medical Center, special guest speaker Armando Nahum, cofounder and president of the Safe Care Campaign, spoke to hospital staff and others about the severity of HAIs.

Nahum, whose father, wife, and son, all suffered from HAIs, launched the Safe Care Campaign with his wife after his son Josh passed away in 2006 after developing an HAI while being transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation center after a skydiving accident.

According to the World Health Organization, over 1.7 million people deal with HAIs every year in the United States, and nearly 99,000 die as a result of the infections. Nahum said if health professionals, visitors, and anybody else in hospitals simply wash or sanitize their hands, the drastic number of deaths and infections can be cut by 40 percent.

“This is a national disgrace and is certainly not something that should be considered a small matter,” Nahum said. “My son was on the road to recovery and lost his life because of an HAI while being transferred to a rehab center. These infections can be avoided and we have to make people aware of it. Jacobi and Kimberly-Clark are stepping up the plate, and we hope to make this awareness long term.”

For more information on HAIs, visit www.HAIwatch.com, or www.safecarecampaign.org.

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