Hospital infections kill 30,000 a year

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9 May, 2011 Updated Mon 9 May 2011 08:26 CEST
Hospital infections kill 30,000 a year

Up to 30,000 people die in Germany each year from hospital infections – double the number previously expected – three medical groups have found.


Daily Bild reported that evidence to a parliamentary committee from three leading medical organisations concludes that previous estimates from the 1990s on the incidence of hospital-acquired infections such as staphylococcus are inadequate.

A report was compiled jointly by the German Society for Hospital Hygiene, the Society for Hygiene, Environmental Medicine and Preventative Medicine, and the Federal Association of Doctors in Public Health Services.

It was given to the health committee of the federal parliament, or Bundestag, which is holding hearings on Monday on planned laws to improve hospital hygiene.

The report concluded that previous estimates were optimistic. They came from a study made in the 1990s and were regarded as “extremely low,” the new report said.

Old figures failed to take into account the large number of undocumented infection cases and “certainly had to be revised upward,” it said.

The previous estimate held that there were 400,000 to 600,000 infection cases per year, but in fact “a minimum of 700,000 cases had to be assumed,” it said.

The estimate of 7,500 to 15,000 deaths per year also had to be revised upward. Instead, the figure of “up to 30,000 fatal cases per year” had to be expected.

The Local/djw


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