ISLAMABAD  -   Health experts on Wednesday asked the administrations of public sector federal capital’s hospitals to implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to avoid transmission of life-threatening infection to protect the lives of doctors, healthcare workers and patients. According to experts, the concerned health authorities should develop a mechanism to assist hospitals in reducing the risk of healthcare associated infections or re-emerging infectious diseases.

They said that all hospitals should make and follow infection control strategies in respective healthcare setting with capacity building of doctors and hospital staff for proper implementation of plans. “Any breach in infection control practices will cause transmission of infection from one patient to another or medical or paramedical staff and attendants. It is necessary for all of them to strictly follow the infection control guidelines,” Medical practitioner at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Dr Wasim Khawaja said. He said that the key measures to control infections in hospitals included creating awareness in paramedical staff, nursing staff and doctors with regular sessions of training workshops.

He added that there should be regular training for staff of every health facility on management of blood or body fluid exposure, handling of medical equipment and devices and proper treatment of medical waste.

He said that department heads should be well aware about the level of awareness of their medical and paramedical staff about importance of infection control measures in hospitals to protect the patients and employees from it.

He added that the medical staff should be well equipped with relevant information and methods to have control on chances of spread of hospital infection. Dr Khawaja said that use of protective equipment by doctors and medical staff is essential at place where the chances of carrying infections are high through blood, secretions and body fluids of patients.

Similarly, attendants should also take special protective measures from carrying any infections from patients at hospitals.

Medical expert Dr Sharif Astori from Federal Government Poly Clinic (FGPC) hospital said that doctors and nursing staff should use personal protective equipment in the hospitals to protect them from carrying infections from contaminating clothing, hair, shoes and hands.

He advised doctors and hospital staff who regularly perform their duties at medical or surgical ICUs or operation theaters or wards to use gown, mask, hair cover cap, apron or shoe covers. He said that in order to protect the patients and hospital staff from hospital based infections, there is a need to have a daily plan to regularly monitor their health with adopting practices of patients’ isolation, sterilization of medical equipment and infection surveillance.