Posted on May 08, 2014, 6 a.m.
Hospital infections kill 200 people each day, in the United States.
People who are hospitalized in the United States risk acquiring healthcare-associated infections, which kill 75,000 patients per year. A report by the Emerging Infections Program Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use Prevalence Survey Team warns that many bacterial infections—which can lead to serious complications from pneumonia and illnesses of the intestinal tract—could be prevented if healthcare workers practiced common hygiene. The researchers analyzed data originating from 183 US hospitals in 2011, reporting that 721,800 infections occurred in 648,000 hospital patients. About 75,000 patients with healthcare-associated infections died during their hospitalizations. The most common infections were pneumonia and surgical site infections (each at 22%), followed by gastrointestinal infections (17%), urinary tract infections (13%), and bloodstream infections (10%). The germs causing these infections were C. difficile (12%), Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA (11%), Klebsiella (10%), E. coli (9%), Enterococcus (9%), and Pseudomonas (7%). The study authors urge that: “As device- and procedure-associated infections decrease, consideration should be given to expanding surveillance and prevention activities to include other health care-associated infections.”
Magill SS, Edwards JR, Bamberg W, Beldavs ZG, Dumyati G, Kainer MA, Lynfield R, Maloney M, McAllister-Hollod L, Nadle J, Ray SM, Thompson DL, Wilson LE, Fridkin SK; Emerging Infections Program Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use Prevalence Survey Team. “Multistate point-prevalence survey of health care-associated infections.” N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 27;370(13):1198-20.