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Hospitals Report Reductions In Health Care-Associated Infections

Hospitals are making progress in reducing the number of blood infections and surgical site infections, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

The report found that in 2011 there was a 41 percent drop in central line-associate bloodstream infections since 2008, up from the 32 percent reduction reported in 2010. There were also reductions in surgical site infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Other commonly acquired health-care infections included ventilator-associated pneumonia and C.Diff infection. According to the World Health Organization, of every 100 hospitalized patients seven will develop an infection in the hospital.

Factors that may put patients at risk include prolonged and inappropriate use of invasive devices and antibiotics, high-risk procedures, immuno-suppression and lack of procedure.

The report looked at data from the National Healthcare Safety Network, and compared the number of infections with those from 2010. The report looked at data from over 11,000 healthcare facilities across all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Goals by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been set for reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections by December 2013. The federal government also has a series of initiatives in place to help reach those goals, such as Partnerships for Patients aimed at improving health care quality.

The chief medical officer of the CDC said, "The significant decrease in central line and surgical site infections means that thousands of patients avoid prolonged hospitalizations and the risk of dying in the hospital."

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Source: CDC, "Hospitals report reductions in some types of Health-care associated infections," Feb. 11, 2013.


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