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Healthcare acquired infections: about 1 percent of patients

 Hospitals in Pennsylvania are required to report data on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  The report cited below draws on the experience of nearly 2 million inpatients in 2009.  Slightly over 1 percent of these inpatients contracted one or more HAIs.  The most frequent type of HAI was found to be surgical site infections, representing about a quarter of all HAIs.  Here is the rest of the breakdown (I rounded the numbers):

Healthcare Acquired Infections: By Type (for hospital inpatients)

  • 25% surgical site
  • 22% urinary tract
  • 18% gastrointestinal
  • 10% bloodstream
  • 10% pneumonia
  •  8% multiple
  •  8% other

This report also examines what happened to inpatients with HAIs.  About 9 percent of them died, compared to about 2 percent of inpatients with no HAI.  Nearly 30 percent of inpatients with HAIs were readmitted within 30 days, compared to about 6 percent readmissions among inpatients with no HAIs.  The average length of stay for inpatients with HAIs was roughly 3 weeks, compared to 5 days for those with no HAIs.

The report notes the commendable improvement shown by Pennsylvania hospitals between 2008 and 2009 in decreasing the incidence of healthcare acquired infections.

Source: The Impact of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Pennsylvania 2009.  Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, Feb. 2011.  Full text can be found by clicking here: http://www.phc4.org/reports/hai/09/docs/hai2009report.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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