Nosocomial infections, also called health-care-associated or hospital-acquired infections, are a subset of infectious diseases acquired in a health-care facility. To be considered nosocomial, the infection cannot be present at admission; rather, it must develop at least 48 hours after admission. These infections can lead to serious problems like sepsis and even death.
Factors that increase the risk for a nosocomial infection include increasing age, length of hospitalization, excessive or improper use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and the number of invasive devices and procedures (for instance: central venous catheters, urinary catheters, surgical procedures, and mechanical ventilation). In addition, most patients often have accompanying conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, renal insufficiency, or malnutrition.