Developing countries have much higher hospital infection rates than the developed world, a study led by World Health Organization researchers has found.
The team reviewed 220 previous studies and looked at bloodstream, surgical site and urinary tract infections, including healthcare-associated bacterial infections and hospital-acquired pneumonia.
The researchers found that infection rates in developing countries were three times higher than in the US.
The data revealed that the infection rate in developing countries was 15.5 per 100 patients, but only 7.1 per 100 in Europe, and 4.5 per 100 in the US.
The rate of intensive care infections was even higher in developing countries, where it was 47.9 per 1,000 patient-days, compared to 13.6 per 1,000 in the US.
The researchers said that simple, low-cost measures such as better hand hygiene, surveillance and staff education could make a big difference in lowering infection rates.