CDC: Hospitals report reductions in some types of HAIs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that hospitals in the U.S. continue to make progress in the fight against central line-associated bloodstream infections and some surgical site infections. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections remained unchanged between 2010 and 2011.

The 2011 National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Standardized Infection Ratio Report (Jan.-Dec. 2011) presents a comprehensive summary of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data collected in CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The number of infections reported was compared with data from 2010, as well as with a national baseline. NHSN receives data from more than 11,500 healthcare facilities across the U.S. 

CDC reported for 2011:

  • A 41 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections since 2008, up from the 32 percent reduction reported in 2010.  Progress in preventing these infections was seen in intensive care units (ICU), wards, and neonatal ICUs in all reporting facilities. 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 route for germs to enter the body and cause serious bloodstream infections.
  • A 17 percent reduction in surgical site infections since 2008, up from the 7 percent reduction reported in 2010. This improvement was not evident for all procedure types, and there is still substantial opportunity for improvement across a range of operative procedures. 
  • A 7 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections since 2009, which is the same percentage of reduction that was reported in 2010.  While there were modest reductions in infections among patients in general wards, there was essentially no reduction in infections reported in critical care locations.

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections among ICU patients are an area of significant concern because patients who get these infections are more likely to need antibiotics.  While antibiotics are critical for treating bacterial infections, they can also put patients at risk for other complications including a deadly diarrhea caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile

Read the report: 2011 National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Standardized Infection Ratio Report (Jan.-Dec. 2011)

Read the CDC press release