Preventing nosocomial infections

Hand hygiene is one of the first measures undertaken in the context of nosocomial infections. It proved indisputably its efficiency in the middle of the 18th century.

Despite the numerous studies conducted confirming the efficiency of hand hygiene in the prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), the compliance of hand hygiene remains low. According to the studies, it varies between 5% and 89% with an average of 38.7%.

Each year in France, around 7% of patients are contaminated during their hospital or clinic stay. These HAIs, or nosocomial infections, affect more than 800,000 people a year and more than 9,000 of them die over the same period.

In the United-States, these infections affect more than 3,000,000 individuals and 100,000 of them die from it every year. These numbers are incredibly high knowing that one third of these cases could be prevented thanks to basic measures.

The main sites are:

Urinary infections
Infectious pneumopathies
Surgical site infections
Skin and soft tissue infections
Other respiratory infections
ENT or stomatological infections
Gastrointestinal tract infections
Catheters-related infections

The three main bacteria causing these infections and constituting more than 50% of all cases are the following:
Escherischia Coli (25%)
Staphylococcus aureus (19%)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10%)

Globally, the resistance rate of bacteria responsible for nosocomial infections is high, and the multiresistant bacteria (Staphylococcus sp, Klebsiella sp, Enterobacter sp, Acinetobacter sp, Pseudomonas sp) are more frequently reported in France than in most European countries.

The use of hand disinfectant such as hydroalcoholic solutions by the medical staff and the compliance with protocols recommended by the WHO is the best way to prevent HAIs.