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Thursday 20th June 2019

One in 12 children catch infections in hospital

23rd May 2012

The Health Protection Agency has released details of a survey involving 50,000 hospital patients which found one in 12 children catch infections during their stay.


The data showed one in 10 babies and toddlers caught hospital acquired infections and one in 16 patients (of all ages) at over 100 hospitals caught an infection. 

The HPA said many hospital infections were ones which affected the respiratory tract, such as pneumonia, or were UTIs or infections following surgery.

The research was carried out in October and November 2011 and 103 hospitals examined 52,443 patients to see if they had an infection.

Most of the hospitals involved were NHS organisations, but 1,665 patients at private hospitals were also involved. 

The survey showed one in five very ill children contracted an infection while in hospital and one in 20 children aged under 15 caught an infection.

The survey's lead author, Dr Susan Hopkins, said: "It is about performing the procedure right every time, no matter how many patients you are looking after."

"We need to make sure people are competent and trained in inserting devices and we need to look at our surveillance of infections. We have to work hard on making sure that health care acquired infections continue to decline." 

 Professor Anthony Kessel, director of public health strategy and medical director at the HPA, said: "The results of this survey are invaluable as they give us a clear picture of what policy advisers and health care professionals need to address as a priority."

The research also showed a significant decrease in the number of patients who caught MRSA and C difficile infections.


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