Number of deaths in Germany due to hospital germs
Every year in Germany about 500,000 patients are infected with hospital germs. Some of these pathogens are multiresistant and therefore difficult to treat with antibiotics. The number of deaths in Germany from hospital germs is approximately 15,000 per year.
According to a study, the number of deaths and approximately 2.6 million infections per year in Europe is 91,000. The most common infections are wound infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning (sepsis). About one third of these infections are considered preventable, e.g. through stricter hygiene measures.
MRSA means methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This germ was discovered in 1961 and is now considered a classic multi-resistant pathogen. It is a variant of Staphylococcus aureus, a representative of the staphylococci, which are bacteria.
Staphylococcus aureus occurs almost everywhere in nature and in humans mainly on the skin and the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat. As a rule, Staphylococcus aureus does not cause any symptoms in humans. However, weakness of the immune system or other factors that promote the spread of the bacterium can cause symptoms, such as skin inflammation, muscle diseases, pneumonia, wound infections, and even blood poisoning (sepsis).
If resistance to several different antibiotics (MRSA) develops, it is difficult to eliminate the pathogens. MRSA can therefore become a problem for other people or patients through transmission to other people or patients, especially if there is an immune deficiency. and Staphylococcus aureus.
What is AER?
AER means vancomycin-resistant enterococci. It is usually a variant of the bacterium Enterococcus faecium with resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin. Vancomycin is used as a reserve antibiotic.
This means that it is only used for pathogens with resistance to other antibiotics such as MRSA, or for serious infections where the antibiotic’s effect must be certain, such as meningitis. The use in simple infections would lead to a faster development of resistance of bacteria against vancomycin and is therefore not considered. Enterococcus faecium is part of the healthy intestinal flora in humans and can lead to complaints such as urinary tract infections or even blood poisoning (sepsis) when leaking from the intestine. The vancomycin-resistant Enterococci lead to infections, especially in immunocompromised patients. Since AERs are often resistant to other antibiotics in addition to vancomycin, it is a problematic germ that can be difficult to eliminate.
What is the transmission path of hospital germs?
The most common transmission route of hospital germs is through direct skin contact with a contaminated person. This can be done either directly from patient to patient or via the nursing staff and doctors, during activities such as taking blood samples, serving food and changing bandages. Since transmission occurs in most cases via the hands, regular disinfection of the hands is an important preventive measure.
Another transmission route is contact with objects and surfaces previously contaminated with the pathogens. Objects that are frequently used by several different people, such as door handles or tables, are particularly affected. A preventive measure against the transmission of germs in this way is the regular disinfection of these objects and surfaces. Airborne transmission is a so-called droplet infection, in which the pathogens reach surfaces or other people directly, e.g. by sneezing or coughing. A preventive measure against this transmission path is the wearing of a mouth guard.