"Le Lien has been helping victims of nosocomial infections for more than 8 years. Given that every year over 800,000 patients are affected, with more than 4,000 deaths, the risk of contracting a serious infection in hospital is a matter that should concern all of us. It is very important to support dissemination of best practices in order to bring this risk under control."
Some 7% of patients hospitalized in France fall victim to a nosocomial infection (infection contracted in hospital and not related to the condition for which the patient is being treated). Altogether, this means 800,000 victims every year, with almost 4,000 deaths.
Le Lien (the name is an acronym for combating, disseminating information and studying nosocomial infections) was founded in 1998 by a group of former sufferers keen to take action to improve the standard of care in hospitals. It helps victims but also works to raise the awareness of hospital workers, the general public and the public authorities of the vital need to do everything possible to avoid propagation of this type of infection.
Sharing best practices
To this end, Le Lien is organizing the first general conference (Etats généraux) on nosocomial infections in October 2006, under the high patronage of the Minister of Health. On completion of this several-day conference devoted to exchange of views and ideas, the participants will draft a “Paris Declaration" aimed at reducing the risk of infection in the hospital environment. It will include proposals in the fields of prevention, medical treatment and research, but also ways of dealing with victims: announcing the infection, psychological assistance and compensation.
The organization will be completely overhauling its web site to support this campaign, with the help of the Veolia foundation and other major partners, primarily to cope with the inevitable wave of web users attracted by this initiative. It will also help publicize the conference, both during and after the event and, even more important, will constitute a platform for contact and sharing of best practices between health professionals, scientists, the public authorities, institutions and patients. In addition, it will be used to disseminate legal provisions and reference material concerning nosocomial infections. Finally, it will publicize and develop the different arrangements put in place to support victims.