Hospital infections cost patients dear

DUBAI - Infection control in hospitals - and during surgery - is a major concern across the Middle East and the world. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately one in ten patients will acquire an infection after admission to hospital with major financial impact.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 31 Jan 2004, 12:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:32 AM

"The patients suffer 20 to 25 per cent increase in costs due to hospital acquired infections (HAI's) and surgical site infections (SSI's). Most of these costs are for nursing care and hospital overheads, while simple preventive measures can drastically reduce these costs," according to Dr. Osama Beltagi, Franchise Director, Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company dealing in special surgical products for wound care and wound management, surgical sports medicine, women's health and cardiovascular surgery.

According to the CDC almost 27 million surgical procedures are performed every year in the US alone with the average incidence of SSI at 1.4 million infections at an average annual cost of $98 million.

On average the management and treatment of each SSI case comes to between $6,700 and $9,500. Primary costs include the patient's prolonged stay in a health care facility, where they occupy scarce space, in addition to diagnostic and therapeutic treatment costs.

Dr. Toni Hau, Chief of Surgery at Zayed Military Hospital, said: "Infection control is a matter of grave concern with health care workers across the Middle East and the world and it is imperative that we recognise the economics involved with effective management of SSI's."

He suggests that by using appropriate preventive measures, the rates of SSI and its associated costs can be dramatically reduced. "The CDC estimates that 60 per cent of all SSI cases involve any one of the four pathogens: Staph a, Staph e, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Epidermidis (MRSE). In all, 66 per cent of SSI's are confined to the incision area alone," Dr. Hau said.

Dr. Suhail Kazim, Medical Director and Head of Surgery at Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah, said that infection control is the responsibility of all health care professionals and hospital staff, since efforts to reduce HAI's and SSI's must have a multidisciplinary approach.

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