22 October 2019 | News
Dr Victor Rosenthal, a distinguished expert on nosocomial infections, discussed the facts of health-economies in HAI prevention
The rising number of Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) in our country has led experts to gather and discuss the ways to prevent them. BD-India, a leading medical technology company recently organised 'Heal-o-nomics’ in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, a program conceptualized to apprehend the challenges in preventing HAIs to achieve better health outcomes at optimised cost. Sharing the expertise on the issues related to HAIs, the President of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC), Dr Victor D. Rosenthal, presented his findings on the epidemiology and prevention of Blood Stream Infections (BSI).
Hospital-Acquired Infections, also known as a nosocomial infection, are acquired from the healthcare facilities through hospital staff, patients, contaminated equipment and linens. Out of every 100 hospitalized patients, at any given time, seven in high income countries and 10 in low- and middle-income countries will acquire one or more health care associated infections (HAIs). Hundreds of millions of patients worldwide are affected by HAIs each year. According to the World Health Organisation, at any given time over 1.4 million people across the globe suffer from hospital-acquired infection (HAI). HAIs account for 2 million cases and about 80,000 deaths a year.
Dr Victor Rosenthal, President, of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium said, “Over last few years India has found the real incidence of Health Care Acquired Infections (HAIs) among hospitalized patients. These infections have been probably caused due to the insufficient compliance with infection control guidelines, such as hand hygiene, and the use of outdated technology. HAIs have further led to morbidity, mortality and increased financial burden among patients. Hence, there is an urgent need to bring down this incidence of HAIs by updating guidelines and increasing compliance with those recommendations and then preventing the infection with bacterial resistance rather than treating it with antibiotics. Spreading education, engaging healthcare workers in conversations around their safety are some other measures that can be implemented in hospitals to aid infection control.”
He further added that, “The adverse impact of Catheter-Related Blood Stream Infections (CRBSIs) has been observed in both, patients with central and peripheral vascular catheters. Hospitals use ten times more peripheral vascular catheters than central vascular catheters, the total number of bloodstream infections in patients with peripheral vascular catheters is five times more than the patients with central vascular catheters. To address this issue, we need to opt to better technologies which are based on clinical outcomes, and cost-effectiveness.”
The most common types of HAIs are Bloodstream infection, Pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infection, and Surgical Site infections. A study conducted by Dr Victor Rosenthal published in 2015 by INICC evaluated the rates of device-associated infections across 40 Indian hospitals compared to several other countries. The studies were conducted on patients in intensive care units (ICUs). The findings specified that 7.92 central line-associated bloodstream infections occurred per 1,000 central line-days, 10.6 catheter-associated urinary tract infections per 1,000 urinary catheter-days and a ventilator-associated pneumonia rate of 10.4 per 1,000 mechanical ventilator-days.
Dr Sajan Nair, CEO, Zydus Hospital, Ahmedabad said ““It has been observed that overcrowding in hospitals with compromised infrastructure, lack of basic infection control practices, skewed healthcare professionals to patient ratio, and non-enforcement of quality accreditation contributes to nosocomial infections-associated deaths in India. Considering these alarming facts, it is important to create a robust environment by implementing required strategies to ensure patient safety. Providing proper trainings to the healthcare workers can be the first step towards creating the safe ecosystem. Initiatives like ‘Heal-o-nomics’ from BD will create a greater impact in improving the patient outcomes in our healthcare facilities.”
Dr PBN Gopal, Head of Critical Care Medicine at Continental Hospitals said “Today maximum patients we encounter have been affected by HAIs. It has been observed that overcrowded hospitals with poor infrastructure, lack of basic hygiene, low healthcare professionals to patient ratio, inappropriate usage of invasive devices and antibiotics, and lack of regulation enforcement contributes to nosocomial infections-associated deaths in India. Considering these alarming facts, it’s essential to create a robust environment by implementing required strategies to ensure better patient safety and care. Providing proper trainings to the healthcare workers can be the first step towards creating the safe ecosystem. Initiatives like ‘Heal-o-nomics’ has created a great impact and we are consistently improving the patient outcomes in our healthcare facilities.”