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Sweden is well above the European average regarding healthcare-associated infections

Sweden is well above the European average regarding healthcare-associated infections

the report This is based on measurements carried out by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) in 2022 and 2023 in about 30 countries, most of them within the European Union. The measurements relate to the incidence of care-associated infections and the use of antibiotics in emergency hospitals in different countries.

A previous treatment of the Swedish material showed that every tenth patient had at least one care-associated infection in the body. The most common are pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infections, post-operative infections, and urinary tract infections.

Now all European materials have been processed, and the result is not very positive. Sweden ranks fourth on the list of countries with the highest rates of healthcare-associated infections. Only Cyprus, Greece and Portugal have higher rates of infection.

The results showed that continued work on infection prevention is necessary, even if there are many pitfalls and uncertainties with comparisons between countries. Previous studies have shown that at least a third of healthcare-associated infections can be avoided, says Anders Turnhag, an infectious disease physician and investigator at the Public Health Agency.

However, the report also shows a lower incidence of antibiotic resistance in healthcare-associated infections in Sweden, compared to other European countries.

– For a long time, Sweden has been a leading country when it comes to prescribing antibiotics, and this is reflected, among other things, in the occurrence of resistance. The results show the value of systematic preventive work against antibiotic resistance being implemented in the country. As the problem of resistance grows globally as well as within the EU, it is becoming increasingly important to continue preventive action in order to maintain our positive position here at home, says Anders Turnhag.

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About the survey

The European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) is behind this survey. The survey was conducted in 2022 and 2023, and included data from 28 countries in the European Union or European Economic Area as well as Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. This was the third time the study was conducted. Data from a total of 1,332 hospitals and 309,504 patients were included in the results. In Sweden, the measurement was carried out in 54 hospitals in all 21 regions during the period from April to May 2023.

Source: Public Health Agency
(Updated on 05-07-2024)