The problem is known and notorious and makes the headlines on a regular basis. Nosocomial infections in hospitals cost human lives and a lot of money every year. Across the EU, nosocomial infections cause additional costs of seven billion euro per year1 – an enormous additional economic burden for our health systems.
Despite all the advances in surgery, post-operative infections are still feared. They lead to complications with serious health consequences, and the economic impact is enormous. Although the causes are complex, serious estimations assume that 50% of these infections could be prevented by suitable measures.2,3
Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms represent a particular danger, as treatment options are severely limited. In terms of antibiotic resistance, recent years have seen a shift in emphasis from Gram-positive to Gram-negative bacteria. Resistance is increasingly being seen against antibiotics of last resort. In particular, wound infections, urinary tract infections and pneumonia in conjunction with vascular catheter-associated infections, primary sepsis and infections caused by Clostridium difficile are major challenges in terms of hygiene and infection prevention.
schülke has been facing this challenge for more than a century. Our approach: prevention is better than infection! Our universal decontamination strategies have been scientifically researched and proven. A targeted and universal decontamination, both of intensive care patients and patients before surgery, allows reducing hospital infections and thus increasing cost efficiency.
According to estimates, postsurgical wound infections cause annual costs of up to 3 billion euros in the German health care system.4 Due to the increasing number of people with hip and knee endoprostheses worldwide, implantation of artificial joints is already considered a routine procedure. Although the SSI (Surgical Site Infection) rates after this type of procedure are relatively low, their increasing frequency has huge economic and health effects.
Postsurgical wound infection rate is 0.5% for knee endoprostheses and between 1% and 3% for hip endoprostheses.5,6 SSI are the number one cause of revision operations following knee replacement surgery and the third most common cause following hip replacement. So after a hip replacement, a SSI can result in a doubling or tripling of the hospital stay, leading to significantly higher costs.
Patients with postsurgical wound infections following knee replacement surgery are also hospitalised significantly longer than uninfected patients (up to 24 days). The average cost of treating an infected patient is $116,000, compared to $28,000 for a patient free of infection.7 Left untreated, a SSI can penetrate deep into the joint and develop into a far more serious – and costly – periprosthetic joint infection.
To curb the spread of multi-resistant pathogens, hospitals around the world are increasingly using preventive measures. Patients on intensive care units are at increased risk of infection.
The goal must be the effective elimination of “problem pathogens” or at least reduction of the microbial load to an extent that reduces the risk of infection and prevents spread to other patients. A key practice with a high level of scientific evidence is universal decontamination.
A comprehensive screening is dispensed with here. Instead, all patients – irrespective of their microbial status – commence decontamination procedures. Ideally, this involves simultaneous decontamination of the nasal vestibules, the whole of the skin and any wounds.
A guide through your surgery journey and essential pre-operative decontamination steps with octenisan® wash lotion and octenisan® md nasal gel
 World Health Organization (WHO), 2016: Guidelines on Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level.
 ECDC, 2014: Healthcare-Associated Infections.
 Nationales Referenzzentrum (NRZ), 2017: Bericht des Nationalen Referenzzentrums (NRZ) für gramnegative Krankenhauserreger, Zeitraum 1. Januar 2017 – 31.Dezember 2017. Epidemiologisches Bulletin 12. Juli 2018/ Nr. 28.
 BVMed, background information on postoperative wound infections,
 Mistry J.B. et al., 2017: Decreasing the Incidence of Surgical-Site Infections after Total Joint Arthroplasty.
 Reference Centre for Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections (NRZ), 2017: Module OP-Hospital Infection Surveillance System (OP-KISS). Reference data. Calculation period: January 2012 to December 2016.
 Kapadia B.H. et al., 2014: The economic impact of periprothetic infections following total knee arthroplasty at a specialized tertiary-care center.