(CDC news release) On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care, adding up to about 722,000 infections in 2011, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency released two reports today – one, a New England Journal of MedicineExternal Web Site Icon article detailing 2011 national healthcare-associated infection estimates from a survey of hospitals in ten states, and the other a 2012 annual report on national and state-specific progress toward U.S. Health and Human Services HAI prevention goalsExternal Web Site Icon. Together, the reports show that progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, but more work is needed to improve patient safety.
"Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene. Health care workers want the best for their patients; following standard infection control practices every time will help ensure their patients’ safety."
The CDC Multistate Point-Prevalence Survey of Health Care-Associated Infections, published in NEJM, used 2011 data from 183 U.S. hospitals to estimate the burden of a wide range of infections in hospital patients. That year, about 721,800 infections occurred in 648,000 hospital patients. About 75,000 patients with healthcare-associated infections died during their hospitalizations. The most common healthcare-associated infections were pneumonia (22 percent), surgical site infections (22 percent), gastrointestinal infections (17 percent), urinary tract infections (13 percent), and bloodstream infections (10 percent).
The most common germs causing healthcare-associated infections were C. difficile (12 percent), Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA (11 percent), Klebsiella (10 percent), E. coli (9 percent), Enterococcus (9 percent), and Pseudomonas (7 percent). Klebsiella and E. coli are members of the Enterobacteriaceae bacteria family, which has become increasingly resistant to last-resort antibiotics known as carbapenems.