The annual epidemiological report and annual report of the EARS-NET of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) describes a continuing deteriorating situation in European countries. Antimicrobial resistance is increasing in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates and surveillance data show high percentages of ESBL-positive isolates. Of particular concern is the increased percentage of Klebsiella pneumoniae and other bacterial groups resistant to carbapanems (last line antibiotics). Furthermore, the percentage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is still high and remains a public health priority.
On any given day 5.7% of the patients in European hospitals has a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) with a prevalence of at least one HAI of 19.5% for patients admitted to Intensive Care Units. HAIs are accountable for at least 37000 attributable deaths with annual financial losses estimated at €7 billion reflecting 16 million extra days of hospital stay. Each year 4 131 000 patients are affected by approximately 4 544 100 episodes of HAIs.
The total number of HAIs in European long-term care facilities (LTCFs) is estimated at 4.2 million per year. 8% to 12% of patients in developed countries is confronted with an adverse event (AE) during their hospital stay leading to (permanent) disability or even death. As HAIs belong to one of the most important AEs they have a considerable economic impact; prolonging hospital length of stay, increase readmission rates and necessitate additional ambulatory care or extra societal costs. The total preventable direct medical costs of AEs in the Netherlands are estimated as 1% of the national health care budget.