Dirty hands cause 4,000hospital deaths each year
15 February 2005
BRUSSELS – Four thousand deaths are caused annually in Belgian hospitals because of unwashed hands, a new study has shown.
The Belgian health ministry has launched the first national campaign to improve hospital hygiene after it was discovered that 115,503 hospital infections are recorded every year.
Twelve thousand cases of septicemia are recorded, of which a third prove to be fatal.
The government has advised that doctors and nurses take care to disinfect themselves when working between patients as this is one of the worst ways to spread infection.
Launching the hygiene campaign on Tuesday, Health Minister Rudy Demotte said
that the effects of hospital infections were costly to the patient and to society.
“Hospital infections are a threat to public health. Clean hands are the most
efficient and cheapest way to eliminate these infections,” he said.
Currently around 5.7 percent of hospitalised patients contract an infection, requiring them to stay on the ward for an average of four days longer.
Carl Suetens, from the national disease institute that carried out the survey, said the 4000 deaths figure was a modest estimation.
“It would be useful to put a more structured research programme in place that would allow us to get a more accurate picture of the diseases caused by these germs,” he said.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news