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J Hosp Infect. 2008 Jul;69(3):288-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 Apr 25.

Healthcare-associated infections in Finnish acute care hospitals: a national prevalence survey, 2005.

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National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


The objectives of the first national prevalence survey on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in Finland were to assess the extent of HAI, distribution of HAI types, causative organisms, prevalence of predisposing factors and use of antimicrobial agents. The voluntary survey was performed during February-March 2005 in 30 hospitals, including tertiary and secondary care hospitals and 10 (25%) other acute care hospitals in the country. The overall prevalence of HAI was 8.5% (703/8234). Surgical site infection was the most common HAI (29%), followed by urinary tract infection (19%) and primary bloodstream infection or clinical sepsis (17%). HAI prevalence was higher in males, among intensive care and surgical patients, and increased with age and severity of underlying illness. The most common causative organisms, identified in 56% (398/703) of patients with HAIs, were Escherichia coli (13%), Staphylococcus aureus (10%) and Enterococcus faecalis (9%). HAIs caused by multi-resistant microbes were rare (N = 6). A total of 122 patients were treated in contact isolation due to the carriage of multi-resistant microbes. At the time of the survey, 19% of patients had a urinary catheter, 6% central venous line and 1% were ventilated. Antimicrobial treatment was given to 39% of patients. These results can be used for prioritising infection control measures and planning more detailed incidence surveillance of HAI. The survey was a useful tool to increase the awareness of HAI in participating hospitals and to train infection control staff in diagnosing HAIs.

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