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Northern Ireland Point Prevalence Survey of Hospital-acquired Infections and Antimicrobial Use 2012


Public Health Agency

Subject Keywords: Infection, Hospital, Antimicrobial use, Antibiotic
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: Northern Ireland

The PHA coordinated Northern Ireland's participation in ECDC's National Prevalence Survey on Hospital-Acquired Infections & on Antimicrobial Use. Hospitals in Northern Ireland participated in data collection between May and June 2012.This report provides a snapshot of the levels of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) and levels of antimicrobial use (AMU) in hospitals in Northern Ireland during 2012.There have been three previous HAI PPS surveys and the last survey was carried out in 2006. It is difficult to compare each survey as the data was collected in a different way. However, after making allowances, there was an overall drop in HAI prevalence of 18% from 2006 to 2012.The PPS data collection was undertaken by hospital teams between May and June 2012 (one hospital deferred data collection until September 2012 because of a move to a new hospital); 16 hospitals surveyed 3,992 eligible patients. The median age of all patients was 66 years. A total of 383 (10 per cent) children under 16 years of age were surveyed. Key results from this year's survey:The prevalence of HAI was 4.2%. A total of 166 patients were diagnosed with an active HAI with 3 patients having more than one infection.When comparing ward specialties, HAI prevalence was highest for patients in adult intensive care units (ICUs) at 9.1 per cent, followed by care of the elderly wards at 5.7%.The most common types of HCAI were respiratory infections (including pneumonia and infections of the lower respiratory tract) (27.9 per cent of all infections), surgical site infections (18.9 per cent) and urinary tract infections (UTI) (11.8 per cent).Since the last PPS in 2006 there has been a reduction in MRSA infections - from 0.9 per cent  of the hospital population to less than 0.1 per cent in patients; and a five-fold reduction in C. difficile infections (from 1.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent).The prevalence of antimicrobial use was 29.5%.Most antibiotic use (60 per cent) in hospitals was in patients receiving treatment for infections which commenced in the community. Eleven percent of surgical prophylaxis was prescribed for greater than one day.  





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Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2012) Northern Ireland Point Prevalence Survey of Hospital-acquired Infections and Antimicrobial Use 2012 [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 16th September 2019].


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