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Nosocomial Infections (NI) also known as hospital-acquired/associated infections (HAI) are acquired during hospitalization, which are not present or incubating at the time of admission to a hospital. These infections typically occur after 48 hours of admission. The commonest organisms implicated include Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, enterococci, Enterobacteriaceae, multidrug resistant E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, etc. Overcrowding and transfer of patients within hospital units and build-up of susceptible patients could contribute to the development of Nosocomial Infections. As per the published literature, the common Nosocomial Infections are Urinary infections, Surgical site infections, Nosocomial bacteraemia and other infections. [1] Another reason for the contamination of clean surgeries with hospital staphylococcus was delay in operation of more than 24 hours of admission [2] As per World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, around 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infectious complications acquired in hospital.

Nosocomial Infections also cause lot of economic losses to the victims in addition to physical and mental agony. [3] The HAI infection rates in India ranged from 4.4% to 83.09%. [4,5]

In a study conducted in Goa, overall Nosocomial Infections rate was 33.93 [+ or -] 4.16 infections per 100 patients. The commonest Nosocomial Infections were Urinary tract infections (UTI), followed by surgical site infections, wound infections and nosocomial pneumonia. 70% of the bacteria isolated were resistant to antibiotics tested. These microorganisms were found to be sensitive to amikacin, cefoperazone-sulbactam, methicillin, co-trimoxazole, teicoplanin, vancomycin and rifampicin. MRSA was isolated in 71.4% of patients. [6]

There is paucity of studies conducted on the knowledge and practice among young medical professionals towards Nosocomial Infections in Goa, India. The present study was aimed at bridging this knowledge gap so that this important issue could be addressed in an adequate and timely manner which will benefit the policy makers to safe guard the health of professionals and their patients.


The Objectives of this Study were as follows

1. To determine the level of knowledge of health care professionals on Nosocomial Infections.

2. To determine the practices adopted in daily clinical practice towards their control.


Study Setting

The Goa Medical College Hospital is the only tertiary care and teaching hospital in the State of Goa.

Study Design

A cross-sectional study design was employed for data collection.

Study Participants

The study participants comprised of young medical professionals (Senior Resident doctors, Junior Resident doctors and Medical Interns) working at Goa Medical College and Hospital. The work experience of the doctors varied. Senior Resident doctors had an experience of at least 3 years. Junior Resident Doctors had an experience between 1-3 years while medical Interns had less than one year of experience.


A purposive sampling method was utilized for the data collection. A total of 100 young medical professionals were enrolled in the study. A total of 51 Resident doctors and 49 Medical Interns were enrolled after obtaining their verbal consent.

Ethical Issues

The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of Goa Medical College before the commencement of data collection (Reference No: GMC/IEC/AL-18; Dated: 12/12/2016).

Data Collection

The data was collected by using a structured questionnaire. The study questionnaire was self-administered to study participants.

Data Entry and Analysis

The data was entered into EpiData software (Version 3.1) [7] and frequency tables were generated by using SPSS software (Licensed Version 23, Customer ID 227011). The results are presented in tables using proportions.


Socio-Demographic Details

Of the total 100 young medical professionals who completed the study questionnaires, 44% were Males and 56% were Females. The study participants comprised of Medical Interns (49%), Junior Resident doctors (41%) and Senior Resident doctors (10%) (Table 1). The mean age of the doctors was 23.9375 [+ or -] 1.90740 years. These doctors worked in Departments of Medicine, Surgery, OBG, Dermatology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Pulmonary Medicine, Paediatrics and Community Medicine [Table 1]. All the doctors interviewed were familiar with Nosocomial Infections.

Knowledge Regarding Nosocomial Infections in Clinical Practice

The various types of nosocomial infections reported were UTI (28%), post-operative wound infections (25%), respiratory tract infections (17%), pneumonia (15%), Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (11%), and Pyoderma (1%) (Table 2).

The most prominent pathogen causing Nosocomial Infections reported by the doctors was Pseudomonas (28%) as shown in Table 2. The commonest mode of transmission reported by study participants was direct contact with patients and staff (34%). The various other modes of transmission are listed in Table 2. All doctors were aware of universal safety precautions and believed that Nosocomial Infections are a major concern for them in their practice and also concurred for its inclusion in Medical education syllabus.

Reported Practices Related to Prevention of Nosocomial Infections.

About, 94% medical professionals believed that training is required to improve their skills as regard to Nosocomial Infections, whereas 6% did not felt this need. Of the total, 74% medical professionals believed that the Institution has taken appropriate actions for prevention of Nosocomial Infections, while 26% did not agree to the same. According to 41% medical professionals', due importance is given to universal safety precautions, however 59% felt that there was inadequate importance. A total of 78% of medical professionals reported regular hand washing before and after examination of patient as shown in Table 3.

Clinical Decisions Adopted to Control Nosocomial Infections

Around 70% of study participants reported that they regularly ensure sterile conditions while performing catheterization procedure as noted in Table 3. About 7% of doctors exited sterile portion of Operation Theatre (OT) along with OT foot wares and gowns regularly while 55% did so occasionally (Table 3). A total of 93% doctors wear gloves regularly for dressing while 7% did it sometimes (Table 3).

A total of 57% of doctors recommended isolation of patient with Nosocomial Infections regularly and 39% recommended isolation only sometimes (Table 3). About, 82% regularly sent patient's tissue or fluid for culture and drug-sensitivity testing (Table 3). Commonest nosocomial infection encountered by the medical professionals found frequently in daily practice is shown in (Table 4). Majority of doctors mentioned Vancomycin to treat Nosocomial Infections as listed in Table 4.


Study participants were all young medical professionals. All the participants were familiar with Nosocomial Infections. Similar studies from the various parts of the world reported variable levels of knowledge of Nosocomial Infections among Health care workers. [8-10] The different types of nosocomial infections cited were UTI, post-operative wound infections, respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, and Pyoderma. Similar findings were reported by S. Masavkar et al where majority of the study participants were knowledgeable about the Nosocomial Infections. However in another study the knowledge of the study participants was very poor. [11,12]

The most prominent pathogens causing Nosocomial Infections mentioned by the doctors were Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, and others. These are similar to the list of organisms isolated in a study by U Kamat et al at Goa Medical College. [7] This finding reveals that the study participants are well versed with the kind of organisms frequently isolated by the Department of Microbiology at their institution. In the current study, bacteria pseudomonas was reported as a major Nosocomial infectious agent. The most probable reason being that the majority of the study participants represented surgical specialities. Similar microorganisms were encountered by health professionals in other studies. [2,13,14] The mode of transmission of Nosocomial Infections cited by medical professionals was direct contact with patients and staff, aerosols from patients, unsterile instruments and fomites. All doctors were aware of universal safety precautions and believed that Nosocomial Infections are a major concern to them in their respective practice and also agreed for its inclusion in Medical education syllabus. Majority of study participants practiced handwashing. In similar studies reported the handwashing practice varies from place to place. [15-22]

Majority of study participants regularly ensure sterile conditions while performing catheterization procedure and very few of them exited sterile portion of Operation Theatre (OT) along with OT footwears and gowns regularly. This kind of practice can increase the risk of infection to the patients being operated in OT. [23] In a similar study, a higher proportion of study participants ensured sterile precautions before catheterization. [24] Most of the doctors' wore gloves regularly for dressing. In another study less proportion of health care workers wore gloves to prevent infection. [25-27]

Half of the doctors recommended isolation of patient with Nosocomial Infections regularly. In another study by M Jain et al reported that 25% of study participants believed that isolation would help in prevention of Nosocomial Infections. [28] Majority of the doctors regularly sent patient's tissue or fluid for culture and drug-sensitivity testing. Commonest nosocomial infection encountered by the medical professionals was Hospital acquired pneumonia, Urinary tract infection, Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, Post-operative wound infection. Similar findings were reported by other researchers. [29,30] In another study Nosocomial Infections reported was cholera which is not reported in the current study setting. [9] Majority of the study participants mentioned that the antibiotics that could be employed for the treatment of Nosocomial Infections were Vancomycin, Linezolid, Ceftazidime, etc. A study done at Goa Medical College reported that isolates were sensitive to Methicillin, Rifampicin, co-trimoxazole, Teicoplanin, Vancomycin. [7]


Doctors had excellent knowledge about the Nosocomial Infections. Some deficiencies in the practice such as not ensuring sterile practices, exiting OT with OT footwear were areas of concern.


The medical school syllabus must include topic of Nosocomial Infections so that the future doctors are adequately equipped to handle such cases encountered in their regular practice.


Only young medical professionals were interviewed hence the opinions of senior faculty is not taken into consideration. The sample size is purposive and small hence may be limited in the generalizability of the findings of the study.


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[3] Pyenson B, Murphy-Barron CM, Mirkin D, et al. Economic impact of hospital-acquired infections on hospitals. 2017: p. 1-37.

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[19] Gulilat K, Tiruneh G. Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice of health care workers on infection prevention in health institution Bahir Dar city administration. Sci J Public Heal 2014;2(5):384-93. doi:10.11648/j.sjph.20140205.13.

[20] Suchitra JB, Devi LN. Impact of education on knowledge, attitudes and practices among various categories of health care workers on nosocomial infections. Indian J Med Microbiol 2007;25(3):181-7.

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[22] Musu M, Lai A, Mereu NM, et al. Assessing hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers in six Intensive Care Units. J Prev Med Hyg 2017;58(3):E231-E7.

[23] Mahumoud MH, Asaad AM. Surgical asepsis practices among or staff in King Khalid hospital, Najran. Int J Curr Res 2013;5(11):3461-73.

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[26] Yakob E, Lamaro T, Henok A. Knowledge, attitude and practice towards infection control measures among Mizan-Aman general hospital workers, South West Ethiopia. J Community Med Health Educ 2015;5(5):1-8. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000370.

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Nitin Y. Dhupdale (1), Parnika Singh (2), Jagadish Cacodcar (3)

(1) Lecturer, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India.

(2) Final MBBS Student, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India.

(3) Professor and HOD, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India.

'Financial or Other Competing Interest': None.

Submission 16-01-2019, Peer Review 10-03-2019, Acceptance 16-03-2019, Published 25-03-2019.

Corresponding Author: Dr. Nitin Y. Dhupdale, Lecturer, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India.


DOI: 10.14260/jemds/2019/201
Table 1. Demographic Variables of Study Population

Variable                     Categories           Frequency   Percent

Sex (N=100)                     Male                 44        44.0
                               Female                56        56.0

Designation (N=100)        Medical Interns           49        49.0
                       Junior Resident Doctors       41        41.0
                       Senior Resident Doctors       10        10.0

Specialty (N=100)        Pulmonary Medicine           2         2.0
                         Community Medicine          10        10.0
                                 ENT                  8         8.0
                            Ophthalmology             5         5.0
                              Medicine               20        20.0
                      Obstetrics and Gynecology      22        22.0
                             Pediatrics               7         7.0
                             Dermatology              7         7.0
                               Surgery               19        19.0

Table 2. Knowledge Regarding Common Nosocomial

 Variables                Categories              Frequency   Percent

Nosocomial     Post-Operative Wound Infections       25        25.0
(N=100)            Urinary Tract Infections          28        28.0

               Ventilator Associated Pneumonia       11        11.0

                 Respiratory Tract Infections        17        17.0

                          Pyodermas                   1         1.0

                          Pneumonias                 15        15.0

                        Not Specified                 3         3.0

Pathogens                Pseudomonas                 28        28.0
                   Acinetobacter baumannii           17        17.0

                    Methicillin Resistant             1         1.0
                    Staphylococcus aureus

                        Streptococcus                11        11.0

                    Staphylococcus aureus            25        25.0

                       Escherichia coli              15        15.0

                        Not Specified                 3         3.0

Modes of                   Fomites                   10        10.0
(N=100)             Unsterile Instruments            14        14.0

                    Improper Sterilization            4         4.0

                Contact with Patients & Staff        34        34.0

                    Aerosols from Patients           27        27.0

                      Infected Catheters              8         8.0

                         Dirty linen                  3         3.0

Table 3. Nosocomial Infections Related Preventive

         Variable              Categories     Frequency   Percentage

Wash hands before and           Regularly        78          78.0
after patient examination
(N=100)                         Sometimes        22          22.0

Ensure sterile conditions       Regularly        70          70.0
while catheterization
(N=100)                         Sometimes        28          28.0

                                  Never           1          1.0

                              Not specified       1          1.0

Exit sterile portion of OT      Regularly         7          7.0
with gown and slippers
(N=100)                         Sometimes        55          55.0

                                  Never          38          38.0

Wear gloves                     Regularly        93          93.0
while dressing
post-operative                  Sometimes         7          7.0

Recommend                       Regularly        57          57.0

                                Sometimes        39          39.0

                                  Never           3          3.0

                              Not specified       1          1.0

Table 4. Specific Actions Taken by Doctors for The
Prevention and Control of NI in Their Practice

       Variable                Frequency         Frequency   Percent

Perform culture and            Regularly            82        82.0
sensitivity to isolate
bacteria (N=100)               Sometimes            17        17.0

                                 Never               1         1.0

Commonest nosocomial        Post-operative          18        18.0
infection observed in       wound infection
practice (N=100)
                             Urinary tract          22        22.0

                           Puerperal sepsis          1         1.0

                           Hospital acquired        27        27.0

                         Methicillin resistant      20        20.0
                         staphylococcus aureus

                              No response           12        12.0

                             Piperacillin            4         4.0

                              Vancomycin            26        26.0

                               Imipenem              3         3.0

                              Ceftazidime           19        19.0

                               Linezolid            22        22.0

                                Others              25        25.0

                             Not recorded            1         1.0
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Research Article
Author:Dhupdale, Nitin Y.; Singh, Parnika; Cacodcar, Jagadish
Publication:Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 25, 2019

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