600,000 hospital infections per year

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Study examines hospital infection at Jena University Hospital

Infections with hospital germs have been a major problem in German clinics for years. Experts estimate that around 600,000 hospital patients suffer from a corresponding infection each year. For the first time at the University Hospital in Jena, "the number of hospital infections occurring in an entire hospital over a longer period of time" was recorded as part of a comprehensive study. Overall, the doctors collected and analyzed the data from almost 40,000 patients from twelve months (September 2011 to August 2012).

The previous information on annual hospital infections (nosocomial infections) was based only on estimates by experts, according to information from the University Hospital Jena, whereby the database was based on surveys over ten years old, only wards with a particularly high risk or individual cut-off dates were taken into account. This results in a high degree of uncertainty in the numbers mentioned of 600,000 and more hospital infections per year. This problem is to be remedied with the current study. By compiling the data on all clinical treatments in a year, the study creates a reliable basis for evaluating prevention strategies, reports the university hospital.

Wound infections, respiratory infections and blood poisoning particularly common The most common types of hospital infections at the University Hospital Jena were wound infections after surgery and respiratory infections. More than a quarter of the clinical infections suffered during the hospital stay in Jena are due to a bacterial infection in wounds. Respiratory infections account for approximately the same proportion of the observed hospital infections. The patients also particularly frequently suffered from blood poisoning (sepsis). According to the clinic, hospital infections were observed in 4.3 percent of the patients treated in the first six months of the study period. "This allows us to confirm the previous expert estimates for German clinics and to scientifically support them for the first time," emphasized the study director, Professor Dr. Frank Brunkhorst. According to the current results, around 15 percent of the infections to be recorded were caused by so-called clinical germs or multi-resistant pathogens.

Measures for the targeted prevention of hospital infections With the compilation of data from 27 normal wards and four intensive care wards at the Jena University Hospital, the researchers have created the conditions for the next study phase, according to the intensive care physician and sepsis expert Prof. Brunkhorst, because without baseline values ​​the effect of preventive measures can be achieved Do not determine. ”The aim is now to implement suitable measures to reduce the risk of infection and to check their success in the next year by re-evaluating all treatments. "In addition to the existing hygiene rules, measures for the targeted prevention of the most common hospital infections such as wound or respiratory tract infections would be developed, which are tailored to the respective patient group and the processes in the clinic," reports the University Hospital. Special attention is paid to patients under artificial ventilation, with a bladder or vascular catheter and freshly operated, since a large part of hospital infections affect these patient groups.

Aligning preventive measures specifically for high-risk patients On the basis of the data obtained, the experts at the Jena University Hospital also want to formulate a more precise risk profile in order to be able to protect specific patient groups even more specifically and effectively. For example, it is known that with an "increasing number of older and chronically ill patients, especially in clinics of maximum care, the proportion of patients with an increased risk of infection increases," reports the clinic. “Bundles of measures” should be put together “that can also be implemented in everyday life,” emphasized the study coordinator Dr. Stefan Hagel. Therefore, the most promising measures for the respective infections are currently summarized. An example here is the strictly aseptic attachment and timely removal of venous catheters to reduce the catheter-associated infections. The goal is to "sustainably reduce hospital infections at our clinic by 20 percent," explained Prof. Brunkhorst.

The head of the National Reference Center for Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections, describes the detection and monitoring method for hospital infections that has been tried and tested in Jena as a suitable "model for other hospitals", which can be used to check and "internationally established surveillance definitions and methods to validate. "(fp)

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