Infections are among the most frequent complications of a stay in hospital and raise the complication and mortality rates. Calculations based on data from the Hospital Infection Surveillance System (Krankenhaus-Infektions-Surveillance-System, KISS) showed an incidence of almost 60 000 newly acquired infections per year in intensive care units in Germany. This is the conclusion reached by Christine Geffers and her coauthor in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 108 (6):87-93).
KISS is a quality assurance tool for hospitals. More than 800 hospitals and 586 intensive care units throughout Germany are enrolled with KISS.
While the percentage of patients in intensive care who have methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus species (MRSA) has been steady for years, the number with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae is rising. In hospital, the risk of acquiring Clostri-dium difficile-associated diarrhea is higher than the risk of acquiring MRSA.