Infection prevention Q&A

Edward-Elmhurst Health is fully committed to reducing the risk of acquisition and transmission of healthcare-associated infections in patients, visitors, employees and physicians. We take numerous precautions to prevent the spread of infection at our hospitals. Read on to learn more about different types of healthcare-associated infections

Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your health.

What is C. dif?

Clostridium difficile (C. dif) is a germ that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. People in good health usually don't get C dif disease. Some people are more likely to get C. dif, such as those who have had cancer treatment, recent abdominal surgery, and who are already sick and in the hospital. Learn more about C. dif.

What is MRSA?

Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can live on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. When common antiobiotics don't kill the staph bacteria, it means the bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics. This type of staph is called MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). Learn more about MRSA.

What are catheter-associated bloodstream infections?

A “central line” or “central catheter” is a tube that is placed into a patient’s large vein to draw blood, or give fluids or medications. It may be left in place for several weeks. A bloodstream infection can occur when bacteria or other germs travel down a central line and enter the blood. Learn more about catheter-associated bloodstream infections.

What are catheter-associated UTIs?

A urinary tract infection (also called “UTI”) is an infection in the urinary system, which includes the bladder and the kidneys. If you have a urinary catheter (a thin tube placed in the bladder to drain urine), germs can travel along the catheter and cause an infection, called a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (or “CA-UTI”). Learn more about catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

What are surgical site infections?

A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Most patients who have surgery do not develop an infection. However, infections develop in about 1-3 out of every 100 patients who have surgery. Some common symptoms of this type of infection include redness and pain around the surgical site and fever. Learn more about surgical site infections.

What is ventilator-associated pneumonia?

A ventilator-associated pneumonia (or “VAP”) is an infection of the lungs that develops in a person who is on a ventilator (a machine that helps a patient breathe). A patient may need a ventilator when he or she is very ill, or during and after surgery. Learn more about ventilator-associated pneumonia.