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Minerva

Bacteria in hospital . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6825 (Published 05 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:i6825

I disagree: superbugs are engineered by staff antibiotic over-prescriptions

Dear Editors,
Thousands of patients hospitalized in various Departments of Greek public hospitals, every year, acquire severe nosocomial infections.
Greece ranks first in the EU in hospital-acquired infections [3][1][10][14][15][19][20], and antibiotic use [13].
More than 50% of microorganisms implicated appear resistant to all available antibiotics. [5][22]
Such elevated antibiotic resistance from dangerous superbugs was declared a 'national threat' to NHS systems abroad, which receive tourists or patients treated in Greek public hospitals and return, carrying and spreading, deadly infections. [6][7][8][9][11][12][14][15][16][17]
These multidrug resistant superbugs are already a national threat in Greece.
15 percent of all patients admitted to Greek public hospitals get superbug infections, with resulting fatalities to 30 percent of that number. [18]
Medical tourism providers, patients, European healthcare officials, visitors, summer tourists, should be aware of these possible health hazards, acquired from Greek hospitals. [21]
References
[1] http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/2/177.long
[2] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-09/greek-doctors-battle-hospital-s...
[3] http://www.grreporter.info/en/greece_ranks_first_eu_hospitalacquired_inf...
[4] http://www2.keelpno.gr/blog/?p=1166&lang=en
[5] http://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Abstract/2012/12001/491___Hospital_Ac...
[6] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10681645/Antibiotics-nation...
[7] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/...
[8] https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2014/200/2/growing-burden-multidrug-resis...
[9] http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2014/03/07/Britain-to-address-increasing-...
[10] http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=22009
[11] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-hospitals-on-watch-fo...
[12] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/hospital-beats-back...
[13] http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/08/11/greece-first-in-antibiotics-u...
[14] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-16/hospitals-warned-over-new-antibiot...
[15] http://www.pharmatimes.com/Article/15-11-19/Post-antibiotic_era_draws_cl...
[16] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/22/almost-too-late-fears-of-...
[17] http://english.sina.com/news/2016-11-23/detail-ifxyasmv1655367.shtml
[18] http://www.ekathimerini.com/213932/article/ekathimerini/news/doctors-uni...
[19] http://neoskosmos.com/news/en/Greek-Australians-Greek-Australians-at-ris...
[20] http://resistancecontrol.info/government-engagement/national-strategies-...
[21] http://www.greek2m.org/germs-public-health
[22] http://www.icjournal.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0086IC/ic-48-190.pdf

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 January 2017
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Thessaloniki, Greece