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To determine the frequency and type of nosocomial infections (NIs) (especially surgical-site infections [SSIs]), risk factors, and the type and duration of antibiotic use among surgical patients in Greek hospitals.
Two point-prevalence studies.
Fourteen Greek hospitals.
Those in the hospitals during two prevalence surveys undergoing surgery during their stay.
In the 1999 survey, 129 of 1,037 surgical patients had developed 148 NIs (14.3%). A total of 1,093 operations were registered, and 49 SSIs (4.5%) were found. In the 2000 survey, 82 of 868 surgical patients had developed 88 NIs (10.1%). A total of 902 operations were registered, and 38 SSIs were detected (4.2%). The median length of stay (LOS) for surgical patients without SSI was 10.0 days (range, 1-19 days); for patients who developed SSI it was 30 days (range, 1-52 days; P < .001). The median LOS prior to surgery for patients without SSI was 1 day (range, 0-4 days); for patients who developed SSI it was 3 days (range, 0-7.5 days; P < .001). Among 30 possible risk factors studied, wound class, LOS prior to surgery, and central venous catheterization were independent predictors of SSI. Median durations of prophylactic antibiotic therapy were 4 days (range, 1-14 days) and 6 days (range, 1-16 days) in the 1999 and 2000 surveys, respectively.
Surgical patients in Greek hospitals suffered higher rates of SSI than did surgical patients in other developed countries while prophylactic antibiotics were used excessively.
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