Infections result from the body's inability to fight off foreign microorganisms. They can be viral or bacterial in origin. Common bacterial infections include a UTI or urinary infection, E.coli, strep and tuberculosis. Viral infections, like influenza or the common cold, usually infect a specific type of cell, which localizes their effect upon a particular part of the body.

Sometimes infections can be caused by the negligence of a health care provider who fails to implement proper infection control procedures. Patients who are incontinent and have open wounds can be very susceptible to infections, and many pressure sores on the sacral area become infected with e-coli bacteria. When an infection becomes advanced, and enters the blood stream, a patient becomes septic. This condition poses a high risk of mortality and requires aggressive treatment in a hospital. Other medical errors may involve a doctors failure to perform a culture to identify and treat a specific infectious agent.

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