Hand hygiene rules flouted at Greek hospitals

19th of August 2022
Hand hygiene rules flouted at Greek hospitals

Only one in three doctors and nurses in Greek hospitals apply hand hygiene rules before having contact with patients, according to a new report.

And fewer than half the nation's healthcare staff wash their hands before carrying out any aseptic patient-handling procedure. These are the results of a study carried out at 10 large hospitals in Greece.

Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control rank Greece top of the hospital-acquired infections charts among European Union member states. The aim of the study was to address this problem within the Greek health system.

Experts believe that poor hand hygiene compliance in Greece's hospitals might be the reason why the number of microviruses developed by patients treated with venous catheters - the most common hospital-acquired infections - is six times higher in Greece than in, say, the US.

Before the pandemic, one in 10 patients in Greece picked up a hospital-acquired infection while an estimated 3,000 patients died from an HCIA every year. This compares with an average of six per cent in general across the rest of the EU.

The Greek study was funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and conducted as part of a programme for the prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance.

It was carried out by the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Research and the National Organisation for Quality Assurance in Health in collaboration with the Greek National Health Service, the Ministry of Health, the University of Athens and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.



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