Healthcare: 7,000 deaths a year from hospital infections
There are 7,000 deaths in our country every year from hospital infections, sepsis arising during hospitalization or after the patient’s discharge. A very high number, equal to double the deaths caused by road accidents. Among the main causes of infections are incorrect decontamination procedures and the excessive use of antibiotics which fuel the proliferation of resistant pathogens. Possible strategies to counter the phenomenon were discussed in Naples during the national forum promoted by the Mediterranean Europe Study Center which brought together researchers, doctors, facility managers and public administrators. “Hospital infections are a problem that we have known for some time now in Campania which, among other things, is the first Region that has launched specific guidelines – said Alessandro Perrella, infectious disease specialist at the Cardarelli hospital in Naples – What to do then: intervention procedures, monitoring, use all the tools already available and carry out an infection prevention talk”. The forum’s work was initiated by a keynote lecture by Massimo Clementi, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the San Raffaele University in Milan. “An active strategy is certainly needed to fight hospital infections, an active strategy based on monitoring, control, reporting and the intervention of strategies that set targets for reducing quantities – said Clementi – When these strategies had been applied, they have had sometimes enthusiastic results”. Even the public administration must take an active part in addressing, with resources and administrative and regulatory support, what, given in hand, is becoming a real national emergency. “Surely we must intervene, even beyond the specific alarm – confirmed Michele Schiano di Visconti, surgeon and councilor of the Campania Region – Sanitizing hospitals and sanitizing health facilities is a need and a priority. Intervening with the utmost attention on these issues is certainly a duty of politics, administrations and the Region that manages health”. The record of infections after surgery is held by the Aosta Valley, with 500 cases per 100 thousand discharged. Liguria follows with 454 and Emilia Romagna with 416 cases. Lombardy, Veneto, Umbria and the city of Trento are slightly distanced, with about 300 cases.