[Healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in long term care facilities (HALT-2): German results of the second European prevalence survey]

Claudia Ruscher, Martina Kraus-Haas, Alfred Nassauer, Martin Mielke
Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz 2015, 58 (4-5): 436-51
Prevention of infections and strategies for the prudent use of antimicrobials in long-term care facilities have gained importance in view of the demographic changes, not only in Germany. To generate appropriate data and to identify relevant aspects of infection prevention in this field, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) launched the second point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in European long-term care facilities in 2013 (HALT-2). Despite methodical adjustments in the collection of data on healthcare-associated infections, in this second survey healthcare workers in the participating facilities were intensively trained in methodology and data collection. Overall, 221 German facilities participated and collected data from 17,208 residents. Well-established structures of regional networks facilitated the recruitment of participants as well as the preparations for training and survey. The median prevalence of residents receiving at least one antimicrobial agent was 1.1% (95 %-CI 0,7-1,6)), which is remarkably low. However, the most frequently used antimicrobials in German facilities beside beta-lactams (penicillins 18.2%, other beta-lactams 17.2%) were quinolones (28.2%). Data collection of infections was performed based on signs and symptoms in detailed decision algorithms according to the recently updated McGeer surveillance criteria and yielded a median prevalence of 1.7% (95 %-CI 1,1-2,2). Symptomatic urinary tract infections (28.4%), skin and soft tissue infection (27.9%), and respiratory tract infections (24.7%) were identified both as the most common types of infections and the most common indications for the use of systemic antimicrobials. Clinical implications evolve mainly from the high use of quinolones. In terms of infection prevention measures, compliance of health care workers with a hand hygiene regimen revealed further potential for improvement.

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