Hospital-Acquired Infection Rates Declining, But Not Enough

Hospital-Acquired Infection Rates
Hospital-Acquired Infection Rates

(HealthDay News) — Rates of many types of hospital-acquired infections are on the decline, but more work is needed to protect patients, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The researchers used national data to track outcomes at more than 14,500 health care centers across the United States. The researchers found a 46 percent drop in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008–2013. During that same time, there was a 19% decrease in surgical-site infections among patients who underwent the 10 types of surgery tracked in the report.

Between 2011–2013, there was an 8% drop in multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, and a 10% fall in Clostridium difficile infections. Both of these infections have prompted concern because some strains have grown resistant to many antibiotics. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections rose 6% since 2009, but initial data from 2014 suggests that these infections have also started to decrease, according to the CDC report.

The CDC also noted that on any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients in the United States acquire at least one infection while in the hospital, which highlights the need for continued efforts to improve infection control in U.S. hospitals. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said Wednesday in an agency news release that "the key is for every hospital to have rigorous infection-control programs to protect patients and health care workers, and for health care facilities and others to work together to reduce the many types of infections that haven't decreased enough."

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