Definition and meaning of the term medical Nosocomial


Originating or taking place in a hospital, acquired in a hospital, especially in reference to an infection. The term 'nosocomial' comes from two Greek words: 'nosus' meaning 'disease' + 'komeion' meaning 'to take care of.' Hence, 'nosocomial' should apply to any disease contracted by a patient while under medical care. However, 'nosocomial' has been whittled down over the years and now just refers to hospitals -- it is now synonymous with hospital-acquired. If someone in a hospital slips and breaks their hip, could that be a nosocomial fracture of the femur? No way. The only things that are nosocomial these days are infections. Nosocomial infections are ones that have been caught in a hospital.

Since antibiotics have come into common usage, bacteria that are resistant to them have also become common, especially in hospitals, so there are now lots of nosocomial infections.

A nosocomial infection is specifically one that was not present or incubating prior to the patient being admitted to the hospital, but occurred within 72 hours after admittance to the hospital. A bacterium named Clostridium difficile is now recognized as the chief cause of nosocomial diarrhea in the US and Europe.

Other medical terms with the letter 'N'

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