The latest Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while describing significant reductions for nearly all infections when compared to baseline data, continues to emphasize the need for healthcare workers to use a combination of infection control strategies to protect patients against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

Patients are threatened by some of the most serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria while they are being treated in healthcare facilities for other conditions. Some of these urgent infections can lead to sepsis or death. 

It was reported that 1 in 7 catheter- and surgery-related healthcare-associated infections in acute care hospitals can be caused by any of these 6 antibiotic-resistant bacteria: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE); Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases); Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE); Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter. A higher incidence of 1 in 4 infections can be seen in long-term acute care hospitals where patients stay on average >25 days. 

National data from the Vital Signs report and the CDC’s annual congress report on healthcare-associated infection prevention presented the following statistics: 

  • 50% decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008–2014
  • 17% decrease in surgical site infections between 2008–2014 related to 10 procedures tracked in previous healthcare-associated infection progress reports
  • No change in overall catheter-associated urinary tract infections between 2009–2014 but some progress seen in non-ICU settings; progress in all settings seen between 2013–2014