The changing face of infection: A comparative review of admissions to a regional infection unit over three decades

G. F. Franklin, D. Robson, A. Cadwgan, Tatiana MacFarlane, J. K. Douglas, D. Hamilton, A.R. MacKenzie, R. B. S. Laing, J. G. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Aims.

Our group previously published retrospective analyses of 12 months of admissions to the Grampian Regional Infectious Diseases Unit from 1980-81 and from 1991. This study aimed to collect data in 2001 and to compare annual admission numbers, diagnoses, duration of stay and outcome in 1980-81, 1991 and 2001.


Data on all admissions was collected prospectively throughout 2001. This was compared with the previously published data.


Total admissions rose from 605 in 1980-81 to 900 in 1991 and to 1152 in 2001. Sixty one percent of admissions in 1980-81 were confirmed as having infection compared to 72% in 1991 and to 83% in 2001. The most common reason for admission in 2001 was skin and soft tissue infection, but this was only the ninth commonest reason in 1981. Mean length of stay fell from 9.6 days in 1980-81 to 7.4 days in 1991 and to 5.5 days in 2001. The mortality rate fell from 3.1% in 1981 and 1991 to 1.0% in 2001.


This study demonstrates significant changes in type, number and outcome of admissions to a regional infection unit. We discuss possible reasons for these changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007


  • Northeast Scotland
  • increasing incidence
  • COLI O157
  • impact

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