Monday, December 13, 2010

Poor nations have higher HAI rates

Researchers from the World Health Organization reviewed over 200 published studies on hospital acquired infections (HAIs) and found that these countries have much higher HAI rates than the U.S. and Europe.

The infection rate in developing countries was 15.5 per 100 patients, compared to 7.1 in Europe and 4.5 in U.S. The difference in intensive care units was even more pronounced - 4.7 per 1,000 patient-days in developing countries compared to 13.6 in the U.S.

According to one of the researchers, Professor Didier Pittet, "There can be a misconception that healthcare-associated infections are not often found in developing countries, simply because their healthcare systems are blitzed with other issues that high-income countries have dealt with or controlled long ago."

This study demonstrated that HAIs are highly prevalent in developing countries. It's reasonable to assume the higher infection rates are leading to longer hospital stays, extra costs, and deaths. According to the study, simple, low cost measures such as better hand hygiene, surveillance, and education could drastically reduce infection rates.

Abstract and link to full article here

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