Hospital Superbugs Reduces with New Infection Prevention Control System
HOSPITAL-acquired infections at a private academic hospital in Johannesburg dropped significantly after a new system for infection prevention and control was established, a study finds.
Ventilator-associated pneumonias in the intensive care unit (ICU) decreased by 42% and central-line associated bloodstream infections in the same unit fell by 100% over a three year period at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, where the research was done.
In SA, an estimated 10% to 20% of patients are at risk of getting infections in hospital, often caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria dubbed superbugs, which are hard to treat.
The success of the innovative surveillance system proved that proactive monitoring does contribute to a decrease in infection rates.
Hospital-acquired infections are thought to be greater in the public sector, but the true burden is unknown.
Few healthcare facilities have a detailed understanding of their hospital-acquired infections, reported Dr Warren Lowman from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), author of the study in the SA Medical Journal (May).
The surveillance system introduced at Wits Donald Gordon, a teaching and referral hospital, was the “first of its kind” reported in SA said Dr Lowman.
In line with international standards, each unit (for example oncology) monitored devices associated with infections (like ventilators and catheters).
The unit-specific surveillance was introduced at the hospital in 2010 in the ICU and clinically-based monitoring was set up across all units over two years.