Portugal has decreased overall infections in surgery

in News · 25-12-2019 12:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal has decreased overall surgical infections last year, although it has slightly increased in neonatal services, Lusa source told the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Infections and Resistance to Antimicrobials ( PPCIRA).

"The only infection that we could not effectively decrease, which increased slightly, was infection in neonatology," said Isabel Neves, deputy to PPCIRA, adding that all neonatal units in the country are participating in a surveillance programme that covers all the babies.

“We have been able to globally reduce surgical site infection. Depending on the type of surgery, in some we have decreased a lot, in others we have increased slightly, but overall we have decreased,” she said.

Isabel Neves indicated that, for example, ventilator-associated pneumonia in intensive care units decreased.

A report was presented that takes stock of the situation in the last five years and, in particular between 2017 and 2018, regarding epidemiological surveillance programmes, antibiotic use, antimicrobial resistance in Portugal and the adherence of health facilities to the programmes proposed by the DGS.

In a summary to which Lusa had access, it refers to a “positive evolution of the prevalence and incidence rates of monitored HAI (infections associated with health care), except for central venous catheter-associated bloodstream infection in Neonatal and adult intensive care, but a decrease in this same methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection)”.

"We have not achieved all our goals, but this infection control work and then what translates into resistance is a work that is not seen overnight," said the official.

The change, it said, "implies strategic changes" in cultural and organized health care structures, along with actions to reduce infections, which "takes some time."

Isabel Neves stressed that hospital staffing at the level of health professionals and resources has “deteriorated since 2011”.

“There has been a huge effort, especially from PPCIRA's local structures to propose efforts to achieve improvement, and there has been an improvement, a major cultural change in the need for good practice for patient and professional safety,” she reiterated.

The same official revealed that Portugal has decreased antibiotic resistance in almost all the most important bacteria in Europe, but considered it worrying that most resistance to a last-line treatment is due to the production of an enzyme that transmits “in a very easy way.”

"We must pay attention not only to infected patients, but to those patients who may eventually be carriers of this bacterium, which are the colonized patients," she said.

This colonized bacterium, she explained, “will not hurt them in terms of infection, but they carry it and can be transmitters, particularly inside hospitals, where there are fragile patients who may be infected with this bacterium and have an infection."

The document contains recommendations to health facilities, in particular to improve infection prevention and control.

Isabel Neves argued that computer resources are needed for information to be automatic, so as to know if the patient "is being treated correctly".

In Europe, an estimated 33,000 people die each year from a Healthcare Associated Infection (IACS).


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