Surveillance report Open Access
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Surveillance of healthcare associated infections is an overlooked parameter of good clinical practice in most healthcare institutions, due to the workload demanded in the absence of adequate IT-systems. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether a simple protocol could be used to estimate the burden of healthcare associated infections in three university hospitals in Huddinge in Sweden, Riga in Latvia and Vilnius in Lithuania and form the basis for initiating a long term follow up system. The medical records of all patients receiving antibiotics were reviewed according to a standardised protocol, focusing on the indications for the drugs and on the frequency of hospital acquired infection (HAI) in a point-prevalence survey. Only comparable specialities were included. The proportion of patients treated with antibiotics (prophylaxis not included) were 63/280 (22%) in Huddinge, 73/649 (11%) in Riga and 99/682 (15%) in Vilnius. The proportion of admitted patients treated for a HAI were 15%, 3% and 4%, respectively, (both comparisons Huddinge versus other centres P<0.001). Surgical site infections were most common, followed by infections with an onset more than 2 days after admission without any of the other registered risk factors present. Our inexpensive and simple method showed that healthcare associated infections were a significant problem among patients admitted to Huddinge. The figures obtained can be used for further discussion and form a baseline for follow up at the local level. The comparison of figures between centres was far less relevant than the process the study created.


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