Dirty-Hands Greek Doctors, Nurses Spreading Hospital Infections

ATHENS – Breaking a Cardinal rule of hygiene – not using antiseptic on their hands – has seen doctors and nurses in hospital spread hospital infections, primarily through handling cathethers inserted in patients.

That was found in research by a collaboration of groups that showed only one in three doctors and nurses use antiseptic even though it’s critically important to also prevent catching or spreading COVID-19.

Only half of the hospital staff use antiseptic before handling patients, with hospital infections a major problem, including causing thousands of fatalities annually, often making hospitals unsafe for patients, said Kathimerini.

The analsyts said that likely explains why the number of microviruses developed by patients treated with venous catheters, most common hospital-acquired infections, is six times higher in Greece than in the US.

The survey was conducted as part of the program for the prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance, which is exclusively funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and implemented by the the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Research and the National Organization for Quality Assurance in Health, in collaboration with the Greek National Health Service, the Ministry of Health, the University of Athens and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The survey was designed to try to help fix the problem but it wasn’t said if the researchers were surprised that such a basic rule as washing hands and using antiseptic during a time of COVID was being routinely ignored.

Before the pandemic, one in 10 hospitalized people in Greece had a hospital-acquired infection (6 percent on average in the EU) and an estimated 3,000 patients were dying from them every year.

A program for improving procedures aimed at preventing hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) in Greece started in January, including collecting data and a series interventions that have already been planned and will be carried out within the next four years to curb HAIs and antimicrobial resistance.

A single electronic platform for recording HAIs was developed and installed in the 10 public hospitals participating in the program to record the indicators in a uniform manner, as well as the changes achieved.

In addition, the collaborating hospitals have been strengthened with infection surveillance nurses (NELs) but it wasn’t explained why there weren’t signs or educational programs to tell the doctors and nurses to just keep clean hands.


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