Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

One in ten get infected after hospital visit

Published 21 December 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Several Swedish hospitals did not meet WHO recommendations for health care hygiene.

One in ten hospital patients in Sweden has at least one infection related to their care, according to a new survey. At the same time, the survey shows that many hospitals have poor hygiene practices.

Every five years, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) conducts a comprehensive survey to map the prevalence of healthcare associated infections and the use of antibiotics in acute care hospitals in EU and EEA countries. In Sweden, the Swedish National Board of Health is leading this effort, and the latest survey was conducted in April and May in 54 acute care hospitals across the country.

A healthcare-associated infection is defined as an infection acquired by a patient in connection with a hospital stay, either during hospitalization or shortly after discharge. Results from this year’s survey show that one in ten patients had at least one such infection, with pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections, postoperative infections and urinary tract infections being the most common types.

– In addition to human suffering, healthcare-associated infections contribute to antibiotic resistance and increased hospital days. Preventing these infections increases patient safety and reduces the pressure on hospital beds, said Stephan Stenmark, an infectious disease physician and researcher at the National Board of Health in Sweden, in a press release.

Antibiotic resistance

The study also found that one-third of patients in the hospitals studied were treated with antibiotics. Of these antibiotic treatments, broad-spectrum antibiotics were used in more than half of the cases. This type of antibiotic is effective against a wide range of bacteria, but is more likely to contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance than narrow-spectrum antibiotics, which target a smaller number of bacteria.

One-third of the 54 hospitals measured had utilization rates above 100%. In addition, several hospitals did not meet WHO recommendations for human resources for health care hygiene.

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