Módulo 1: identificação e tratamento de Infecções - Fighting Infection | pt-BR - 870 - 56457
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Fighting Infection

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Infections, Nutrition and Food Safety

Fighting Infection

The Role of a Carer in Fighting Infection

Carers may often spend a significant proportion of their day in contact with clients who have a range of ailments and illnesses.

Because of this carers need an understanding of the ailments and illnesses that they may encounter, how to treat them, and how to prevent their spread.

This unit will discuss the most common illnesses that carers encounter and provide you with the skills necessary to recognize their symptoms an prevent their spread.

The Spread of Diseases and Prevention

Preventing the spread of disease depends on how the disease is transmitted and the source of the infection. Carers need to constantly keep this in mind.

Germs, also called microorganisms, are tiny living particles. They can be found anywhere: in the air, on the ground, in our bodies.

Pathogens-the germs that cause diseases – often live in a specific environment. Some diseases are spread by touching objects that an infected person has touched.

Other diseases are spread when you come into contact with the body fluids of an infected person, for example blood or saliva.

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Common Sources of Infection

The majority of infections are transmitted by:

Air

Eating and drinking utensils

Food

Personal hygiene equipment

Water

Direct contact with the infected

Dressings

Insects/ Animals

Figure 1. A microscopic image of a disease causing pathogen

The Spread of Diseases and Prevention (Continued)

Healthy individuals with healthy immune systems will stay healthy because their immune system will fight the germs.

To help the body fight off diseases, there are simple things you can do every day. You can reduce the spread of infectious microorganisms by:

Step 1

• Washing your hands after urinating, having a bowel movement, or changing tampons, sanitary napkins or pads.

• Washing your hands after contact with any body fluid or substance, whether it is your own or another person’s.

Step 2

• Washing your hands before handling, preparing, or eating food.

• Washing fruits and raw vegetables before eating or serving them.

• Covering the nose and mouth when coughing, sneezing or blowing the nose.

Step 3

• Bathing, washing hair, and brushing teeth regularly.

• Washing cooking and eating utensils with soap and water after use.

• Germs multiply rapidly in warm, dark, moist environments so keep those areas on a person’s body and in living areas clean.

The Spread of Diseases – Risk Factors

In general, people are at greater risk for getting infections if they:

Have weakened immune systems such as very young or elderly persons.

Are on medication that suppresses the immune system (for example, organ transplant patients).

Have HIV/AIDS.

Are not eating healthy foods, not sleeping enough, and are under increased stress.

Common Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms present in human blood or other potentially infectious material, such as saliva or other fluids.

These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Symptoms of Hepatitis B/C

Flue-like fever

Lack of energy and abdominal discomfort

Dark urine, yellow skin and sclera (white of the eye)

Symptoms of HIV

Flue-like fever

Rapid weight loss

Unexplained rashes

Diarrhea and night sweats

Swollen lymph nodes

Figure 2. The Red Ribbon is a world leading HIV charity

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a life-threatening pathogen. Almost 8,700 health care workers each year contract hepatitis B, and about 200 will die as a result.

In addition, some who contract HBV will become carriers, passing the disease on to others. Carriers also face a significantly higher risk for other possibly fatal liver ailments, including cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer.

HBV infection is transmitted through exposure to blood and other infectious body fluids and tissues. Anyone with occupational exposure to blood is at risk of contracting the infection.

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Vaccination

The hepatitis B vaccination is a noninfectious, yeast-based vaccine given in three injections in the arm.

There is no risk of contamination from other bloodborne pathogens nor is there any chance of developing HBV from the vaccine.

Figure 3. A vaccination against hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver disease, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), found in the blood of persons infected with this disease – it is not always a fatal disease.

Most people who get hepatitis C will carry the virus the rest of their lives. Many do not feel sick from the disease, but most of these persons will have some liver damage. Eventually, some patients may develop cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure.

There is no vaccination for hepatitis C. However, many persons with hepatitis C are at risk for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, and should be vaccinated for these diseases.

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Figure 4. Hepatitis C is found in the blood of the infected.

Preventing Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is spread through contact with the blood of an infected person. Sharing of needles, and other equipment used in intravenous drug use can spread the disease.

Do not share razors, toothbrushes or other personal care articles that may have blood on them. Rarely, it may be spread by unprotected sex.

Figure 5. Hepatitis C is spread through sharing syringes.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which diminishes the body’s ability to fight disease.

If you are going to be caring for someone with HIV infection, you need to understand the basic facts about HIV and AIDS.

The only way to tell if someone is infected with HIV is with a blood test. There is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. There are treatments that can keep infected people healthy and prevent diseases that people with AIDS get.

HIV slowly makes an infected person sicker and sicker. Someone with AIDS can feel fine in the morning and sick in the afternoon.

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How HIV is Spread:

HIV is commonly spread by:

• Having unprotected sex with someone who is infected with HIV.

• Sharing needles or syringes with someone who is infected with HIV.

• Mothers who are infected with HIV can pass in on to their babies before the baby is born, during birth, or through breast- feeding.

Early in the AIDS epidemic people became infected through blood transfusions.
Since then, all donated blood and donors of organs or tissue are tested for HIV.

How HIV is NOT spread

Care workers need to know how HIV is not spread as well as how it is spread. This will provide them with peace of mind while providing care to their clients.

You don't get HIV from the air, food, water, insects, animals, dishes, knives, forks, spoons, toilet seats, or anything else that doesn't involve blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk.

You don't get HIV from feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine, or unless these have blood mixed in them. You can help people with HIV eat, dress, even bathe, without becoming infected yourself.

END of UNIT

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