The survey, published by the Federal health office on Tuesday, was undertaken between April and June 2017 and examined the cases of 13,000 hospital patients in 96 Swiss hospitals, around half of the country’s total hospitals.
It revealed that 5.9 percent of patients contract an infection in hospital, on a par with the European average as based on 2011-12 data.
The most frequent infections developed in wounds post-operation (29 percent of cases), followed by respiratory infections (18 percent), urinary infections (15 percent) and blood infections (13 percent).
Elderly people and those in intensive care were the most at risk of infection, while the rate was also higher in larger hospitals.
“That’s explained by the fact that patients in larger hospitals are generally more seriously ill,” said the health office in a statement. Larger hospitals also “carry out riskier operations”.
The survey is an “important step” in a national strategy to prevent infections and improve the situation in hospitals through better hygiene practices, said the government.
The Swiss survey was carried out in parallel with similar surveys in EU countries, the data for which will be available by the end of 2018.