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Healthcare associated infection in intensive care units

Published on 31 May 2021

Healthcare associated infections (HAI) are most widespread in intensive care units (ICU). Patients in intensive care are more likely to develop a HAI because they are very ill and usually require the use of medical devices such as endotracheal tubes to help with breathing, and vascular lines to support their treatment and delivery of medicines. Surveillance of HAI in ICU includes bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and infections associated with vascular lines and endotracheal tubes.

In 2009, a national surveillance programme was introduced which uses the case definitions and methods set out by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). To deliver and develop this surveillance we work collaboratively with the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG).