Normally we expect hospitals to make us healthy. But sometimes it's actually in hospital that we become really ill. The worldwide spread of new superbugs in hospitals is causing alarm among doctors.
The most widespread and most dangerous of the hospital superbugs is MRSA (multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This bacterium is resistant to current antibiotics and is becoming increasingly aggressive: the number of medicaments which can be deployed against it is falling year by year. MRSA can lead to serious wound infections, pneumonia, septicaemia and, not infrequently, death. Every year, around 50,000 people in Europe die from this germ.
Whenever a new antibiotic appears, it is followed just a few years later by resistant strains of bacteria. They are particularly widespread in countries where antibiotics are most frequently and generously administered. Wherever antibiotics are prescribed in a more sparing and targeted fashion, there are also fewer superbugs.
The Netherlands is the only European country which has been able to reduce the spread of MRSA bacteria in hospitals to virtually nil. This documentary shows what guidelines proved successful in the Dutch case and what national strategies should be applied in other countries to overcome this problem.
The documentary filmmakers investigate the issue on several levels, by analyzing the current situation in European hospitals, the research work currently in progress and how hospital workers, but more importantly patients, are coping with superbacteria.