Infection risk in the hospital

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More and more people are becoming infected in German hospitals. MRSA bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics are primarily responsible.

(May 10th, 2010) Patients should actually cure their illnesses in hospitals, but according to the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) around 35,000 to 40,000 people become infected every year in Hessian hospitals. The infection rate has increased by 14 percent compared to 2008 and 2009. The number of infections in isolation wards rose by as much as six percent. According to further estimates, around 1.5 million people fall ill in hospitals nationwide. Of these, 40,000 infections are said to be fatal.

The most common and most serious complications are caused by MRSA bacterial strains (multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). These MRSA bacteria are antibiotic resistant and arise where most antibiotics are used - in hospitals. They lead to skin diseases, severe inflammation of the heart, pneumonia and blood poisoning.

In order to counteract this accumulation of illnesses in hospitals, the experts recommend participating in a hygiene management program. According to the Techniker Krankenkasse, 100 of the 170 clinics in Hesse are currently participating. The program is designed to monitor and control infections. According to experts, the best remedy for infections in hospitals is frequent hand washing and disinfecting the hands. However, the development of resistance to antibiotics is also favored by the use of cleaning agents that contain so-called quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) with a disinfectant effect. Because the same genes in the bacteria that provide QAV resistance also impart resistance to antibiotics. (sb)

Also read:
Resistant bacteria in German hospitals

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Video: WHO: What are the core components for effective infection prevention and control?


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