THREE in every 100 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) for more than two days develop an infection while in hospital, according to figures from Health Protection Scotland.

The data suggest 1.6 in every 100 people in ICU suffer from ventilator-associated pneumonia, while 1.3 in every 100 people develop a bloodstream infection. The rates are broadly similar to the level reached over the last couple of years.

Dr Stephen Cole, consultant in intensive care medicine and chairman of the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group, said: "Following significant declines in previous years, rates of healthcare associated infection in intensive care units remain at a relatively low level.

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"This reflects the importance attached at board, hospital and unit level to minimising harm and improving the quality of care in this critically ill group of patients."