Patients at UK hospitals are among the most likely in Europe to catch the MRSA virus, according to a new study.
According to research by Eucomed, which represents the medical technology industry in Europe, the risk of getting the virus in the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries is tiny – between 1% and 5%.
But in the UK the chances rise to about 45% – higher than anywhere else in the EU except Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and Romania.
Hospital bugs remain a major danger for patients and staff alike, according to Eucomed. Every year three million people acquire healthcare associated infections, which are fatal for about 50,000 people.
“Patients and healthcare workers alike are under a serious, pan-European threat from HCAIs,” said Eucomed’s chief executive, John Wilkinson. “The direct and indirect costs amount to £8 billion each year.”
He said it was now up to the European Commission to set EU-wide standards for patients’ safety and encourage national authorities to join forces to share their experiences of tackling hospital viruses.
Medical experts across Europe have been working with Brussels on plans for new patient safety rules, in a consultation process which has just ended.
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