Healthcare Associated Infections in European Long Term Care Facilities (HALT) Prevalence Study 2010 in Scotland

Publication Date: 23 June 2011

Care home residents have many factors associated with Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) including increased age, poor nutrition status, use of invasive devices and antibiotic prescription.

During July 2010, as part of the Healthcare Associated Infection in Long Term Care Facilities (HALT) project, a European HAI prevalence study was carried out across 28 countries in volunteer care homes. HPS coordinated the contribution across Scotland.

A total of 4870 residents from 83 care homes across Scotland were surveyed. The results indicate that within the surveyed care homes 2.6% (95% CI 2.2-3.1) of residents had an HAI at the time of survey. The prevalence of HAI by care home ranged from 0% to 13.5%. The most common infection types were urinary tract (52.7%), respiratory tract infections (19.4%) and skin infections (15.5%).

A total of 357 residents were receiving antimicrobial therapy at the time of survey with 10 residents receiving 2 antimicrobials. The prevalence of antimicrobial use was 7.3% (95% CI 6.6-8.1) and ranged from 0% to 27.8%. The most commonly prescribed antimicrobials were Trimethoprim (26.7%), Nitrofurantoin (18.3%) and Amoxicillin (16.1%).

Results of the study should be interpreted with caution as the survey only included volunteer care homes and were not representative of all care homes in Scotland. The results from this study have provided a valuable insight with regards to rates of HAI and antimicrobial use within care and will form the basis for future HAI surveillance within the Scottish care home population.

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