Five Romanians die every day due to hospital-acquired infections, health minister says
Romanian minister of health Alexandru Rafila recently said that an average of five people die each day in Romania due to hospital-acquired infections. He also stated that cases are far more common than those reported.
The figure can be found in the ministry’s latest report on hospital-acquired infections, or nosocomial infections. These are infections that patients acquire during their stay in a hospital or another healthcare setting.
The same document shows that 1% of hospitalized patients develop an infection of this kind, compared to a European average of 7%. It is only due to recent efforts that Romania reached 1% reported cases, Rafila says, while before the figure stood at 0.2%, miles away from reality.
Around 37,000 Europeans are killed by hospital-acquired infections each year, and many more deaths can be partially explained by reference to them, as the infections worsen the health of people who already suffer from certain conditions.
“Romania has about 5% of the population of the European Union and, if we were to extrapolate these figures to the level of our country, we would see that also in Romania the number of deaths that could be attributed to healthcare-associated infections in real terms would probably be about 1,700 annually,” Rafila said, cited by Digi24. “There are, on average, around five deaths per day in Romania according to this estimate. This is the situation,” he added.
Improving the present situation has to start with the honest, transparent reporting of cases, according to the official.
He also said that Romania suffers from an overuse of antibiotic medication, which leads to the development of dangerous multi-resistant bacteria. These bacteria have become resistant to certain antibiotics, and cannot be countered easily.
“We’re first in the EU when it comes to the consumption of antibiotics,” said Rafila.
The minister also argued that no country in the world is free of hospital-acquired infections and that firing and replacing hospital managers every day is not the way to eradicate them.
“There’s a hospital in Bucharest which claims that they haven’t had a case in 11 years. I don’t believe it,” Rafila concluded.
The most frequently reported types of healthcare-associated infections, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), are respiratory tract infections, surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and gastrointestinal infections.
(Photo source: Ministerul Sanatatii on Facebook)