New challenges as survey shows hospitals can leave you feeling worse

One in sixteen patients in hospital last year had an infection contracted as a result of their medical care that made them sicker rather than better

A snapshot survey carried out in England last October and November shows what unhealthy places hospitals are Some 64 per cent of patients in hospital at any one time during 2011 were found to have an infection such as MRSA or C Difficile which they caught while in hospital

The figure is an improvement the infection rate has fallen 22 per cent since the previous survey in 2006 But the Health Protection Agency HPA which did the research said that while MRSA and Cdiff rates had fallen rates for other infections such as salmonella and Ecoli had risen

Professor Anthony Kessel medical director of the HPA said quotThere are new challenges to meetquot

Healthcareassociated infections HAIs claim thousands of lives and cost the NHS an estimated pound1bn a year In 2006 MRSA and Cdiff caused 5000 deaths but infections caused by these bugs have since been reduced by nearly 95 per cent for MSRA and by 80 per cent for Cdiff

Enterobacteriaceae including salmonella and Ecoli now account for a third of all HAIs

The HPA surveyed more than 50000 NHS and 1600 private patients in 103 hospitals The results showed 64 per cent of patients had an HAI down from 82 per cent in 2006 The most common were infections of the respiratory tract such as pneumonia the urinary tract and surgical sites

Susan Hopkins a healthcare epidemiologist and author of the report said quotEnterobacteriaceae have increased they have been slowly and surely rising over the last 10 years and now account for a third of all infections It is clear that we need to find ways to control and prevent transmission of these bacteria and this is an important priorityquot

Date : 25 May, 2012
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