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Hospital “Superbugs” On The Rise Despite Prevention Efforts

Posted Nov 15 2008 4:23pm

Although infection control has been substantially ramped up in Canadian hospitals since the SARS crisis of 2003, resistant bacterial infections post-SARS are multiplying even faster, a new Queen’s University study shows.

Led by Queen’s epidemiologist Dr. Dick Zoutman, the national survey is a six-year follow-up to a study that was undertaken in 1999, prior to the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

The original, groundbreaking study, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, showed that most Canadian hospitals fell seriously short in preventing patients from getting hospital infections. The researchers estimated then that about 250,000 patients a year experience infected surgical wounds, blood infections, and antibiotic-resistant organisms while in hospital - and that 8,000 of these patients will die.

Findings from the new Queen’s study - which draws on data from 2005 - will be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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