In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance, “nosocomial” or healthcare-associated infections (HAI) pose an ever-increasing risk to patients in hospitals. According to WHO, HAIs affect hundreds of millions of hospitalised patients annually, with 7 to 10 out of every 100 acquiring at least one HAI.
Intensive care units (ICUs) and especially neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are among the most at risk wards, with studies showing that approximately 30% of ICU patients are infected with at least one HAI. And the risk grows with every additional day spent on these wards. Annually about 37,000 deaths in Europe and about 99,000 deaths in the USA can be attributed to HAIs.
One of the most vulnerable patient groups is newborns, particularly premature babies. Many neonates have to be admitted to NICU units, where the risks of catching a — possibly antibiotic-resistant — infection is extremely high. Data show that the lower the birth weight, the higher the risk of acquiring an infection especially through invasive devices, such as central lines, catheters, ventilators or feeding tubes. Most common nosocomial infections in newborns include skin infections, bloodstream infections (sepsis), ventilator-associated pneumonias, inter alios.
HAIs can not only seriously affect one’s life and even lead to avoidable death, but these are also extremely costly for healthcare systems, given that there are numerous ways to avoid most of these infections. Good hygiene and cleaning procedures, efficient management of hospital resources (staff or room set-ups) can all contribute to lowering the cases of HAIs. In addition to this, manufacturers active in this industry also offer a wide variety of tools and equipment that can improve the safety of patients.
Vygon, as a leading supplier of single-use medical devices, takes safety of patients very seriously, including the safety of the littlest ones. The company’s “Aim at Zero” initiative in the UK provides support to hospitals every step of the way to fight infections. The VYSET umbilical and PICC placement set, the microsite MST insertion kit, the Premistar antimicrobial PICC catheter, the Expert antimicrobial umbilical catheter, the Multistar antimicrobial CVC catheter, the arterial catheter Arteriosel and the Bionector neutral displacement needleless connector were all developed with prevention in mind.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control