Bacteriemias: peak prevalence of hospital bloodstream infections in children in Europe
A study published in recent days by The Lancet "Infectious Diseases" establishes the prevalence and type of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in children in Europe and describes the risk factors for infections in this population group. The research was based on data from the prevalence survey conducted by the European agency ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) on HAIs and the use of antimicrobial drugs in hospitals, in acute care, at the European level between 2011-2012 that covered 770 infections reported in 726 children and adolescents. Results show that the prevalence of infections was highest in pediatric intensive care units (15.5% – one in six children) and neonatal intensive care units (10.7% – one in ten children).
Most HAIs (77%) were identified in infants younger than 12 months of age. Bloodstream infections were the most common type of infection (45 percent), followed by lower respiratory tract infections (22 percent). Although the vast majority of bloodstream infections in the study were reported in children younger than 12 months of age, the proportion remained high in other age groups as well. These types of infections in infants and children are associated with a’high mortality and adverse long-term neurological outcomes. For Giovanni D’Agata, president of "Sportello dei Diritti," it is most appropriate to point out how the authors of the study stated that a pan-European program is urgently needed to prevent and reduce the unacceptably high rates of IAAs in children in Europe, with a particular focus in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and address issues related to nosocomial bloodstream infections.
This is the largest multinational study describing HAIs in children to date, providing detailed information about the prevalence and distribution of these infections in this specific component of the population. A second survey is underway in Europe, and will also look at improvements to address some of the limitations discovered during the development of the study, and its results will be published by the European Centre for Prevention and Control (ECDC) after 2017. –