Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 186

The Seventh Framework Programme’s (FP7)
‘Prevention of Hospital Infection by Intervention
and Training’ (PROHIBIT) project provided a
global perspective on and evaluation of infection
control activities in Europe on multiple levels and
assessed the effectiveness of current practices
and interventions. Through its investigations, a
number of recommendations have been made
that could be implemented throughout Europe
to tackle this devastating problem.
In December 2014, Portal travelled to the Italian
capital Rome to attend the conference
‘Promoting patient safety and quality of care:
the EU contribution to national actions’.
Speaking to delegates, Dr Walter Zingg, co-
ordinator of the PROHIBIT project, outlined the
background to the investigations undertaken
and set out to delegates how infection control
is “more than just antibiotic resistance”.
The venture received nearly €3m in EU funding
and ran from 2010-2014. It was co-ordinated
at Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, or the
University Hospital of Geneva, in Switzerland
and included the participation of Imperial
College London, UK; University Hospital,
Freiburg, Germany; the National Institute for
Public Health and the Environment, the
Netherlands; and Charité – Universitätsmedizin
Berlin, Germany, one of the largest university
hospitals in Europe.
The project also included the participation of a
number of international partners, namely Johns
Hopkins University, Maryland, and the University
of Michigan, both in the United States. Also
playing a role were the ECDC and the World
Health Organization.
Speaking about the results of the first ECDC point
prevalence survey (PPS), which was carried out
during 2011-2012, Zingg described the core
he European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
estimates that4.1million patients acquire healthcare-associated
infections in the EU every year, directly resulting in 37,000
deaths annually. In addition, such infections are estimated to contribute
to a further 110,000 fatalities each year.
According to the ECDC, urinary tract, respiratory tract and bloodstream
infections, as well as infections after surgery, are the most frequent
conditions. A further major source is Methicillin-resistant
(MRSA), which ‘is isolated in approximately 5% of all healthcare-
associated infections’. Despite these alarming statistics, many of these
contaminations, and subsequent deaths, are preventable. The ECDC
estimates that between 20 and 30% of healthcare-associated infections
could be avoided by intensive hygiene and control programmes.
Further statistics from the EU indicate more worrying developments. The
European Commission’s DG Health and Food Safety estimates that 8-
12% of patients who enter a hospital in the Union ‘suffer from adverse
events whilst receiving healthcare’. In addition to healthcare-associated
infections, which account for around a quarter of all adverse events, other
problems include medication-related and surgical errors, medical device
failures, errors in diagnosis, and failure to act on the results of tests.
Consequently, prevention strategies can, now more than ever, play a key
role in protecting patients in an environment which they otherwise expect
to restore their health.
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
H E A L T H : D I S E A S E R E S E A R C H
PROHIBITing hospital infections
Addressing delegates at a specialist conference in Italy,
Dr Walter Zingg
out the key findings of the ‘Prevention of Hospital Infection by Intervention and
Training’ FP7 project
The PROHIBIT project
was co-ordinated by
the University Hospital
of Geneva, Switzerland
© Julien Gregorioz
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