STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Research from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, or ECDC, lists bloodstream infections as the most common type of infection in children in Europe, followed by lower respiratory tract infections.
The ECDC study, the largest of its kind so far, examined the type and prevalence of healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs, in children to determine prevention and treatment options.
The research was compiled with data from the ECDC prevalence survey of HAIs and antimicrobial use in acute care hospitals throughout Europe between 2011 and 2012.
Of the 770 infections in 726 children and adolescents studied, 15.5 percent were in pediatric intensive care units, 10.7 percent were in neonatal intensive care units, and 77 percent occurred in infants less than 12 months old.
Approximately 45 percent were bloodstream infections, while 22 percent were lower respiratory tract infections.
Researchers reported that bloodstream infections in infants and children have a high mortality rate and risk for long-term adverse neurological outcomes.
Based on the findings, researchers are calling for a widespread European program to prevent and reduce the high rates of HAIs in children.
The study was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.