Hospital infections in 12.7% of patients admitted to intensive care in Europe in 2020

Hospital infections in 12.7% of patients admitted to intensive care in Europe in 2020

OfHealth editorial team

The annual report of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has been released. Intubations and catheters are the procedures underlying infections. Presence of resistant microorganisms similar to 2019

In 2020, 11,124 people, i.e 12.7% of patients admitted to a unit intensive care have had at least one healthcare-associated infection for more than two days. 8% had pneumonia6% ablood infection and 3% an infection of the urinary tract.

The European report

These are some of the data present in the ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) annual report released on 15 March. 71% of pneumonia episodes were associated withintubation38% of blood infection episodes were related to catheter and 95% of urinary infection episodes were always associated with the presence of a catheter.
The reference year is 2020, where Covid broke out and the intensive care departments were particularly busy. The countries that provided the data were 9, for a total of 1,058 hospitals and 1,378 intensive care units.


Monitoring is essential to keep hospital infections under observation and understand which microorganisms keep under greater control and which of these have a rate of antibiotic resistance more marked.
Intensive care units are the hospital departments with the highest prevalence of infections given that they use invasive devices (such as endotracheal tubes and vascular and urinary catheters) and host patients in serious conditions with associated massive use of antibiotics.

The resistance of bacteria

The values ​​of the Italian data provided by two networks called Italia/GiViTI (Italian Group for the Evaluation of Interventions in Intensive Care) and Italia/SPIN-UTI (Italian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance in ICUs) are among the highest in Europe, but certainly mediated from Covid.
The same trend of hospital infections in Europe, which has been decreasing since 2008, has shown a very strong increase in 2020 for the same reason.
The microorganisms were similar to those monitored in 2019. Important data: the most frequently isolated was Pseudomonas aeruginosafollowed by coagulase-negative staphylococci andEscherichia coli.
The degree of resistance to antibiotics of the most feared bacteria, such as the Staphylococcus aureus. The latter was judged resistant to the antibiotic (oxacillin) in 14% of cases. 16% of Enterococcus spp. were found to be resistant to glycopeptides and resistance to cephalosporins third generation has been reported in 22% of cases with E. coli.

Italy brings up the rear

The fact that in 2020 there is data “dirtied” by Covid must not make us lower our guard: a study published in Lancet in 2022 it estimated that there would be over 1.2 million global deaths directly attributed to infections from multi-resistant germs and almost 5 million deaths in which the colonization of superbugs contributed to causing the death.
In Italy the percentages of resistence to the main classes of antibiotics used in hospitals have always been among the highest. In particular, the latest AIFA report on the use of antibiotics, referring to 2020, states more than 1 antibiotic prescription in 5 inappropriate. Consumption in the area and in hospitals continues to be higher than the European average.

March 18, 2024


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