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Guidelines needed to prevent spread of infection in European hospitals

National and European guidelines to control the spread of vancomycin resistant enterococci should be drawn up before these bacteria become endemic in European hospitals, argue researchers in this weeks BMJ.

Vancomycin resistant bacteria have a low virulence but can cause serious infections in transplant patients or those in intensive care units. Infections are becoming increasingly common in American hospitals, but are rare in European hospitals.

A recent outbreak in a Dutch hospital was halted by strict infection control measures, but these measures were expensive and at times stopped new admissions and routine surgery.

With the American experience in mind, many doctors agree that spread of these multiple resistant bacteria should be prevented. On the other hand, a rigorous infection and control policy will result in extensive patient discomfort, increased workload for healthcare workers, and substantial extra costs for healthcare organisations.

The authors propose that a European consensus on control measures should be reached and guidelines drawn up on how to approach hospital outbreaks before these bacteria become endemic in Europes hospitals.


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Contact: Emma Wilkinson
ewilkinson@bmj.com
44-207-383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
14-Mar-2002


Page: 1

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