Hospital infections declining, still killing 200 people daily- CDC

hospital infectionsAbout 1 out of every 25 US patients contracts at hospital infections during the course of her/his stay in hospital for treatment on any given day, according to fresh data released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC data further reveals that an estimated 1 out of 9 infected patients will die during their hospital stay.

“You go to the hospital to get better. In many cases we do, but that’s not always the case,” said Dr. Michael Bell, the deputy director of CDC’s health care quality promotion division. “We found that on any given day 1 out of 25 patients has a hospital infections, and of those people, as many as 1 out of 9 go on to die. This is not a minor issue.”

The American health watchdog has compiled its report using statistics collected from a survey conducted in 183 hospitals in 2011.

The CDC investigators found in their study that there were 648,000 patients who acquired some 721,800 health care-associated infections (HAIs) in the country’s acute care hospitals that year.

Meanwhile, about 75,000 of infected patients died during their hospitalization, the agency said.

Of the 11,282 hospitalized patients, 452 contracted one or more health care-associated infections, the report highlights.

Of all the hospital infections, the most common types that caused or contributed to the patients’ death were pneumonia and surgical site infections, each accounted for 22 percent of all infections. The less common infections were gastrointestinal infections (17 percent), urinary tract infections (13 percent), and infections of the bloodstream (10 percent).

The most common bacteria causing health care-associated infections were Clostridium difficile (12 percent), Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA (11 percent), Gram-negative bacteria Klebsiella (10 percent), Escherichia coli, commonly called E. coli (9 percent), Enterococcus (9 percent), and Pseudomonas (7 percent).

The latest hospital care-associated infection and hospital infections-related fatality rates are way down from an earlier CDC estimate of 1.7 million healthcare-associated hospital infections and 155,668 infected-patient deaths in 2002. At least 98,987 of those deaths were attributed specifically to the patients’ infection (s).

“Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden.

The CDC investigators averred their report throws light on the prevalence of healthcare-associated infections and asks for immediate action to combat the drug-resistant pathogens that lead to many infections.

The CDC report is published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.