8.8 million patients in hospitals and nursing facilities in the EU are afflicted by hospital-acquired infections, estimates the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (EADC). The consequences include delayed healing, lengthy hospitalizations, complex side effects and, in the worst cases, death.
These alarming figures show that containment measures for dangerous hospital pathogens have had nowhere near the desired effect. An added difficulty is that increasing numbers of patients are resistant to antibiotics: the one effective drug can no longer be used. 33,000 deaths in Europe are the tragic result.
Scientists state that the burden from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, is as large as that posed by tuberculosis, influenza and HIV/AIDS combined.
The situation is no better outside Europe: The OECD has published a study which predicts up to 2.4 million deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Europe, Australia and North America by 2050.
It is essential to continue to optimize systematic hygiene processes in hospitals, care facilities and nursing homes. Apart from hand hygiene and the disinfection of contact surfaces, an antimicrobial treatment of the polymer surfaces of furniture, room fittings and medical devices provides durable protection against bacterial colonization. This breaks the transmission chain.