HOSPITAL ACQUIRED INFECTIONS - A FIFTH OF ICU PATIENTS SUFFER FROM HAI's


Annual Mortality rate in HAI patients is 99,000 in USA & 33,000 patients in EU alone in 2015.

Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) can be defined as the infections acquired by a patient who was admitted to a hospital or other healthcare facility that were not present (or incubating) at the moment of admission.

HAI represent a significant healthcare problem with an estimated total of 8.9 million cases occurring in the EU during 2016–2017 in acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities1. The prevalence of HAI has been estimated to vary between 4.4% in primary care hospitals to 7.1% in tertiary care hospitals, reaching 19.2% in intensive care units1.

  • In the EU in 2015, around 25% of HAI were caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria with an estimated annual mortality of 33,000 patients2. HAI can be caused by pathogens coming from other patients, the staff or the hospital environment.

  • The different high-touch surfaces such as door handles, tables, nurse-call buttons or bed rails can be contaminated by potential pathogens which are able to form biofilms and survive on the surfaces for a long time3.

  • It has been demonstrated that some antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), are able to survive for weeks on different surfaces4.

  • Recent evidence confirmed that the previous occupation of rooms by patients infected or colonized with MRSA, VRE or other antibiotic-resistant pathogens increased the risk of new patients to be colonized with those pathogens5.

Consequently, appropriate protocols to clean and disinfect hospital surfaces are crucial to prevent HAI of which manual cleaning with disinfectants is the most commonly used.

However, chemical cleaners used to disinfect surfaces are not exempt from certain degree of toxicity, can be incorrectly applied and have to be used at their effective concentration.

Moreover, once applied on surfaces, disinfectant activity disappears and the objects could contaminate again within minutes.


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