Resistant bacteria
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
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New study shows 33,000 deaths resulting from antibiotic-resistant germs in Europe

Deaths resulting from antibiotic resistance increased in Europe since 2007

The increasing risk of (multi-)resistant pathogens poses a serious threat to modern medicine. The latest figures collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) paints a clearer picture than ever; Previous estimates from 2007 assumed that about 11,000 people died of infections from antibiotic-resistant pathogens throughout Europe. To determine current figures, scientists analyzed extensive data sets from the year 2015. That data revealed that number of deaths resulting from resistant bacteria rose to a staggering 33,000 – a worrying development.

Number of infections also increased

Deaths due to resistant germs represent the worst-case scenario. But even the occurrence of infections with antibiotic resistance is a burden on healthcare systems and those affected. Above all, the more difficult treatment resulting from these infections endangers or delays the recovery of the infected person. Here the results of the researchers show an identical trend towards increasing deaths due to microbial resistance. Whereas in 2007 there were just under 240,000 infections resulting from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in 2015 there will be over 600,000 cases.

Front runners: Italy and Greece

The study results published in the renowned journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, show that there are large regional differences in infections and deaths. By far the most affected countries are located in southern Europe: Italy and Greece. More than 200,000 infections with resistance occur in Italy alone. In Germany, about 55,000 cases are reported.

Hand hygiene a key remedy

Another interesting finding of the authors is that the majority of the infections described occur in healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes. To counteract this dangerous trend, in addition to the controlled use of antibiotics in human medicine, measures to improve hand hygiene must be implemented in everyday medical life. This preventive approach can effectively prevent the spread of resistant germs and ensure patient safety. Effective hand hygiene in healthcare is aided by the availability of systems – reducing distance between patient contact areas and dispensers is critical. The use of touchless devices and hygienic levers is essential to prevent cross-contamination at hygiene points. The implimentation of compliance measures such as hi-vis dispenser colours, and electronic hand hygiene monitoring have been shown to increase dispenser use.

At the BDH Clinic in Greifswald, Dr. med. Andreas Glöckner was able to demonstrate with the OPHARDT Hygiene Monitoring System that electronic hand hygiene monitoring, combined with

OHMS: Increase hand hygiene compliacen, decrease infections and antibiotics

regular staff education, can increase hand disinfectant consumption by more than 30 % per patient day, decrease infections by 28 %, and critically, and decrease the amount of antibiotics consumed by 28 % per patient day. To find out more watch this video on OHMS. For more information on solutions to prevent the spread of infections visit

Source: Cassini A., Högberg, L.D., Plachouras, D. et al. Attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU and the European Economic Area in 2015: a population-level modelling analysis, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30605-4.


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