Director of Health to Investigate Hospital Infections Skip to content

Director of Health to Investigate Hospital Infections

Iceland’s Medical Director of Health Sigurdur Gudmundsson is going to investigate whether overcrowded conditions at the National Hospital are increasing the risk of hospital infections, which can lead to death in some cases.

Fréttabladid quoted anesthetic and intensive care unit physician Gunnar Skúli Ármannsson in a report on Tuesday, who claimed several patients die of hospital infections in Iceland every year. The largest risk factor for hospital infections, Ármannsson said, is overcrowded conditions. Most patients who lose their lives to such infections are already severely ill.

Minister of Health Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson contacted Gudmundsson immediately after the story broke to discuss the matter with him.

“The danger is real,” Gudmundsson told Fréttabladid. “Numerous studies recently undertaken around the world regarding patient safety in hospitals […] show that one out of every ten patients who are admitted to hospital can suffer directly from the treatment he or she is receiving.”

Gudmundsson said that when designing a new hospital building, risk factors for hospital infections, like lack of space, will be taken into consideration.

Gudmundsson added that cases of hospital infections in Iceland will be researched in the near future. Until now, statistics from other countries, where the healthcare systems are similar to that in Iceland, have been applied to the situation here.

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