Some HAIs increased from 2019 to 2020, CDC says

Nov. 4, 2021

There were significant increases between 2019 and 2020 in some healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in acute care hospitals, including a 35% increase in the standardized infection ratio (SIR) for ventilator-associated events (VAEs), a 24% increase in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and a 15% increase in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 2020 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report also showed that all 2020 national SIRs except VAEs remain below the 2015 baseline SIR of 1, or a “reference point” for measuring progress, in acute care hospitals.

Other HAIs were unchanged between 2019 and 2020 or showed a significant decrease. “This progress in infection prevention is a testament to the dedication of healthcare providers across the country to protect patients from harm despite unprecedented challenges in 2020,” the agency said in the report.

The report includes data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) across four healthcare settings: acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, acute care hospitals in more than half of states are performing better than the 2015 national baseline in preventing CLABSI, CAUTI, SSIs following surgeries, MRSA bacteremia and C. difficile infections, the CDC said.

The 2020 HAI Progress Report also shows progress in reducing some HAIs in other healthcare settings. In LTACHs, significant reductions were seen in CLABSI, CAUTI, and LTACH-onset CDI, while no significant changes were observed in VAE. In IRFs, significant reductions were seen in hospital-onset CDI, CLABSI, and CAUTI, while no significant changes were observed in IRF-onset MRSA bacteremia.

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