- 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.
* * *1. Relating to a hospital. 2. Denoting a new disorder (not the patient's original condition) associated with being treated in a hospital, such as a hospital-acquired infection. [G. nosokomeion, hospital, fr. nosos, disease, + komeo, to take care of]
* * *nos·o·co·mi·al .näs-ə-'kō-mē-əl adj acquired or occurring in a hospital <\nosocomial infection>nos·o·co·mi·al·ly -ē adv
* * *noso·co·mi·al (nos″o-koґme-əl) [noso- + Gr. komeion to take care of] pertaining to or originating in the hospital, usually referring to a disease or other pathologic condition.
Medical dictionary. 2011.