Four country healthcare-associated infection prevalence survey: pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infections.
journal contributionposted on 22.11.2019, 15:21 by Hilary Humphreys, R G. Newcombe, J Enstone, E TM Smyth, G McIlvenny, E Davies, R Spencer
In 2006, the Hospital Infection Society was funded by the respective health services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to conduct a prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infection (HCAI). Here, we report the prevalence of pneumonia and lower respiratory tract infection other than pneumonia (LRTIOP) in these four countries. The prevalence of all HCAIs was 7.59% (5743 out of 75 694). Nine hundred (15.7%) of these infections were pneumonia, and 402 (7.0%) were LRTIOP. The prevalence of both infections was higher for males than for females, and increased threefold from those aged <35 to those aged>85 years (P<0.001). At the time of the survey or in the preceding seven days, 23.7% and 18.2% of patients with pneumonia and LRTIOP, respectively, were mechanically ventilated compared to 5.2% of patients in the whole study population. Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was the cause of pneumonia and LRTIOP in 7.6% and 18.1% of patients, respectively (P<0.001). More patients with LRTIOP (4.2%) had concurrent diarrhoea due to Clostridium difficile compared to patients with pneumonia (2.4%), but this did not reach statistical significance. Other HCAIs were present in 137 (15.2%) of patients with pneumonia and 66 (16.4%) of those with LRTIOP. The results suggest that reducing instrumentation, such as mechanical ventilation where possible, should help reduce infection. The higher prevalence of MRSA as a cause of LRTIOP suggests a lack of specificity in identifying the microbial cause and the association with C. difficile emphasises the need for better use of antibiotics.