About 10% of hospitals use rapid tests to diagnose infections

In Portugal deaths associated with infections in hospital admissions are seven times higher than deaths from road accidents.


Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosing nosocomial infections, and reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics are being used in 10% to 20% of Portuguese hospitals, estimates Paulo André Fernandes, Director of Prevention and Infection Control and Resistance Antimicrobial the Directorate General for Health (DGH).

The head of DGH reacts well to the conclusion of the study Associated Infections Health Care: The Contribution of In Vitro Diagnostics, which was released Tuesday. The work, commissioned by the Portuguese Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry and coordinated by former Minister Correia de Campos Health, advises to analyze the usefulness of these tests to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

Paulo André Fernandes lembra que estes testes são recentes e mais caros do que os testes convencionais, mas nota que têm vindo a descer de preço um pouco por todo o mundo (cá cada um ronda os 40 euros). As recomendações internacionais defendem a sua aplicação em hospitais, diz. O seu uso em 10% a 20% das unidades hospitalares “já é razoável”. A ideia é alargá-los aos hospitais, porque permitem um diagnóstico mais precoce e dirigido, reconhece.

These tests take about two hours to yield results, whereas conventional tests may take several days because "depend on the growth of bacteria" in the laboratory, explains. Its use can reduce hospitalization times, and isolation of patients "on suspicion" of infection, and reduce the use of more broad-spectrum antibiotics. But are tests have their limitations, may be too sensitive, he says.

The need, emphasized by the same study, to strengthen the national program to combat hospital infections dedicated "special attention" to the continued care units for the elderly, the official says that the problem in this context is studied: the prevalence of these units infections is similar to hospitals, around 10%. Paulo André Fernandes recalls that have been given training to professionals in this sector, explaining that "there is an ongoing reform initiative-term care, which is being studied this problem" .

The study also recommends the integration of the private sector in gathering information. In this regard, it notes that the microorganisms surveillance network and multirresistências "already has a large number of private laboratories and hospitals."

In Portugal deaths associated with infections in hospital admissions are seven times higher than deaths from road accidents. The reasons are many, but one of them is associated with problems in cleaning the units, further explained the newspaper PUBLIC this responsibility. "The Portuguese hospitals are less clean than they should be."

When speaking of the hospital infection prevention measures, is recurrent talk of hygiene campaigns of the hands of health professionals, the need for more conditions to isolate infected patients, but there are other problems. One is "clean," says Paulo André Fernandes. This is because clean a hospital is not the same as cleaning a house, in which the same detergent floor can give a kitchen and a bathroom.

"In a hospital there is a type of product for every situation. Do not clean the same way the hospital entrance hall of the infirmary where he was a patient with a resistant bacteria. There are several types of special cleaning, "he explains.

At this time, hospitals have allocated to fight infection teams, and one of its vocations is the formation of cleaning staff. Teach employees that products must use where surfaces and places where situations have to wear gowns and gloves.

The problem is the precariousness and the high turnover of senior staff, which is often subcontracted to external private companies, he says. What happens is that companies do not provide training for workers, and when the hospital does, after a few months find new employees who did not receive any training, regrets.

In Portugal, the latest figures show that consumption of antibiotics is decreasing, such as antibiotic resistance. But there was, in 2013, 4606 cases of deaths associated with infections during hospitalization.

Source: newspaper "Public" and author on 26 October 2016