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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

LOSSA, Guillermo R. et al. Prevalence of hospital infections in adult intensive care units in Argentina. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.5, pp. 324-330. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008001100004.

OBJECTIVES: To present consolidated results from two surveys of nosocomial infection incidence, within the framework of Argentina's National Surveillance of Hospital Infections Program. METHODS: Two editions of the National Survey on the Incidence of Hospital Infections in Argentina were used, those of 2004 and 2005. Of the 68 hospitals, 53 reported data from adult intensive care units (in 2004, 26 units; in 2005, 27), for a total of 359 patients (in 2004, 158 patients; in 2005, 201). The survey was designed as a multicenter, observational, cross-sectional, and descriptive study. Data analysis was performed with several statistics programs, combining and standardizing variables and both time periods in order to include all the hospitals from the two surveys. RESULTS: The prevalence of hospital infection among patients was 24%. Of the 127 illnesses, the most frequently occurring was pneumonia (43.3%), which in 85% of the cases was associated with use of a respirator. Primary bloodstream infections took second place, at 20.5%, with 61% of these cases being associated with a central catheter. Patients given respiratory therapy were at greatest risk (P < 0.001) of developing pneumonia; this was not observed among patients with central or urinary catheters. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of hospital infections, the distribution of primary infection sites, and the associations with risk factors were similar to those observed by other authors in several countries. It is important to understand the local and national issues prior to initiating a surveillance program. Surveys such as these, with a national scope and administered by the State, are one way of motivating, raising awareness, and building capacity.

Keywords : Cross infection; intensive care; prevalence; infection control; Argentina.

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