Sick from hospital germs

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Sick from hospitalization: dangerous multi-resistant pathogens.

(24.08.2010) Germs are a serious problem, especially in hospitals, as the death of three infants in the Mainz University Clinic has now shown us again. According to the Allianz report “Sick in the hospital” from 2007, between 500,000 and one million people in hospitals in Germany are infected with germs every year.

The Europe-wide study comes to the conclusion that about every tenth patient in the hospital is infected with dangerous germs. About 15,000 people die each year from the consequences of such an infection, said a spokesman for the Berlin University Clinic Charité. Rarely, drug-resistant pathogens are responsible for the disease, in most cases other germs are the cause of the infection. "Multi-resistant pathogens that require special antibiotic treatment make up only ten percent of hospital infections, but other germs make up 90 percent," emphasizes Prof. Petra Gastmeier from the Charité Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine: According to estimates, two thirds of hospital infections (nosocomial infections) would be of the experts, however, can be avoided if the applicable hygiene regulations are only implemented consistently. "Compliance with the hygiene standards really has to be checked by specialist staff who are constantly in the house and who are on the alarm clock because they keep asking. But hospitals are happy to save on this right now, precisely because there is no constraint, ”said the spokesman for the“ German Society for Hospital Hygiene ”(DGKH), Klaus-Dieter Zastrow, in an interview with“ dpa ”.

Therefore, the DGKH demands a government regulation that prescribes the hiring of hygienic personnel for every hospital, as is already the case in Berlin, Saxony, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia and the Saarland. The representatives of the Berlin Charité, on the other hand, would prefer to expand their nationwide monitoring program for hospital infections (KISS), which has been running for years and runs on a voluntary basis. Both approaches have potential and as long as the number of hospital infections declines over the next few years, the patient does not care which procedure has led to success.

Most nosocomial infections are caused by germs that the patients have brought with them, with the germs being transmitted through the hands in about 80 to 90 percent of the cases, emphasized Frauke Mattner, an expert in hospital hygiene at the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology. Appropriate action is only taken in around 50 percent of cases in which thorough hand disinfection is required.

The risk of infection is particularly high in the intensive care units, where, according to the University of Freiburg hospital hygienist, Prof. Markus Dettenkofer, up to 15 percent of patients are infected with dangerous pathogens. Since most of the patients are already weakened due to their illness or surgery, serious consequences such as blood poisoning (sepsis), pneumonia, urinary tract infections, etc. often occur here.

The most common in the intensive care units is ventilation-associated pneumonia, i.e. H. pneumonia caused by the transmission of germs as part of artificial respiration. The pathogens can come from the area of ​​the intensive care unit and have been transmitted to the patient's oral cavity due to poor hygiene (exogenous route of infection) or they come from the patient's own stomach and, if they remain in a horizontal position, reach the oral cavity through the belching of stomach contents (more endogenous Infection route). However, the latter type of infection path has already been significantly reduced in the past due to the patient's “sitting” position (30 - 45 degree angle). In addition, urinary tract infections are particularly widespread in patients with a bladder catheter, so that around 15 percent of them have to deal with such a nosocomial infection. .

Even if their share of total hospital infections still appears to be relatively small, experts believe that the increase in infections caused by multi-resistant pathogens should be viewed with particular concern. They are a direct result of the often too generous or sometimes even irrational use of antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial infections. (fp)

Also read:
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