According to a new study, about 648,000 patients, or approximately 1 in 25, got infections during hospital stays. 11% of those patients die. The report, based on a survey conducted in 183 hospitals in 10 states in 2011, updates a previous estimate of 1.7 million hospital infections a year. That estimate, issued in 2007, was based on different study methods, so the numbers can’t be directly compared, officials say.
Infections are down in most categories. The Centers for Disease Control says infections related to 10 common surgeries declined 20% from 2008 to 2012. During the same period, the CDC recorded a 44% decline in infections related to central lines, tubes placed in the chest, arm or neck to deliver nutrients and medicine and make blood draws easier. Not all infections were down – infections related to urinary catheters rose 4%.
The report also shows limited progress in limiting hospital-borne bacterial infections, such as MRSA and C. diff. While significant progress has been made, there is more work to be done.
“There are hundreds, if not thousands of people alive today because of the work that’s already been done,” says Nancy Foster, vice president of quality and patient safety policy at the American Hospital Association. But she agrees there’s more to do. “C. diff has risen to the top of the pile of things we need to tackle,” she says.
See the USA Today for more information.