Healthcare-Associated Infections Declined in 2010

Four common infections seen in healthcare facilities declined in 2010, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Hospitals continue to make impressive progress in driving down certain infections in intensive care units through implementation of CDC prevention strategies," said CDC director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH. "Hospitals and state health departments need to translate this progress to other areas of healthcare delivery and healthcare infections, such as dialysis and ambulatory surgery centers, and diarrheal infections such as Clostridium difficile."

In 2010, the CDC reported a reduction of 33% in central line-associated bloodstream infections: reductions of 35% among critical care patients and 26% among noncritical care patients. A central line is a tube that is placed in a large vein of a patient's neck or chest to give important medical treatment. When not put in correctly or kept clean, central lines can become a freeway for germs to enter the body and cause serious bloodstream infections. Also reported were reductions of: 7% in catheter-associated urinary tract infections throughout hospitals; 10% in surgical site infections; and 18% in the number of people developing healthcare-associated invasive methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. In addition, CDC saw improvement in healthcare provider adherence to proven infection prevention measures, such as appropriate techniques for inserting central line catheters into patients (more than 94% adherence). Two additional infections are currently being tracked, Clostridium difficile infections and MRSA bloodstream infections, and data on these infections will be available next year. "These successes reflect investments not only in hospital practices, but in our national and state public health capacity," said Denise Cardo, MD, director of CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. "Preventing infections in healthcare saves lives and reduces healthcare costs."


(Source: CDC Online News Room, October 19, 2011)