Two ECDC surveys published on healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use in hospitals and long-term care facilities in the EU/EEA

20 November 2018

Article: 52/4606

Findings from two surveys released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on European Antibiotics Awareness Day (15 November) show that practices in antimicrobial use vary from country to country throughout Europe and that, overall, there is room for improvement.

The surveys also showed that healthcare-associated infections remain a serious issue, with 8.9 million cases occurring each year in both hospitals and long-term care facilities. Overuse of antimicrobials – mostly antibiotics – and varying infection prevention and control practices may result in the increased emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria in the EU/EEA.

The studies showed that there is still unnecessary use of antimicrobials in hospitals and in long-term care facilities. The surveys also confirm that healthcare-associated infections remain a public health issue in the EU/EEA. ECDC estimates that on any given day, one-in-15 patients in European hospitals, and one-in-26 residents in long-term care facilities, have at least one healthcare-associated infection. Many of them were caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. 

The surveys can be accessed on the ECDC website