Surveillance of HAI in Intensive Care Units

Publication Date: 30 April 2009

The Scottish Surveillance of Healthcare Associated Infection Programme (SSHAIP) team at Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and the Scottish Intensive Care Audit Group (SICSAG) work collaboratively to l​ead a national surveillance programme for surveillance of HAI in Intensive Care Units.

The SICSAG quality indicators for critical care mandate that all ICUs must have an ICU surveillance system in place and the HAI and AMR policy set out in DL(2015) 19 states that ICUs in all NHS Boards should undertake HAI surveillance and this project supports NHS boards to comply with these requirements.

The Scottish National Point Prevalence Survey of Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Prescribing found that the prevalence of HAI in intensive care was significantly higher than in general wards. The ICU patient population are critically ill, often with underlying health issues and are subject to invasive medical procedures which increase their risk of acquiring an HAI. It has been well demonstrated that some HAI, for example CVC related BSI can be reduced to minimal levels if best practice guidelines are in place and adhered to.

The data are collected through the SICSAG WardWatcher audit system. Case definitions, data definitions and data required are those specified by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control protocol for surveillance of healthcare-associated infections in intensive care units.

The HPS/SICSAG protocol can be accessed via the SICSAG website​.

Resource information

Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group
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