Journal Article

The “Zero Risk” Concept for Hospital-Acquired Infections: A Risky Business!

Jean Carlet, Jacques Fabry, René Amalberti and Laurent Degos

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 49, issue 5, pages 747-749
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/604720
The “Zero Risk” Concept for Hospital-Acquired Infections: A Risky Business!

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Nosocomial infections represent a serious public health problem. Some recent studies, most of which used strong educational programs, showed a dramatic decrease in the rates of nosocomial infections, particularly catheter-related infections in the intensive care unit. Thus, the concept of “zero risk” is flourishing in the recent literature, and some insurance networks have decided to limit reimbursement for treatment of some of the health care-associated infections, on the grounds that most of them are preventable. This viewpoint article emphasizes the risk of such a position and enumerates the reasons why such a philosophy could be counterproductive. In particular, this philosophy does not fit with the concept of self-declaration of severe adverse events and could push clinicians to underreport those events.

Journal Article.  1652 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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